Better Child and Family Team Meetings: Part One

Everyone holds Child and Family Team (CFT) meetings differently. In our experience, there are a few elements to a successful CFT meeting. The following are our suggestions for CFT meeting steps. To help, we also included a sample Child and Family Team meeting agenda.

As a facilitator, it is helpful to have a clear idea of the meeting steps and to get buy-in from participants at the beginning of a meeting on the agenda. These are essential steps in preparing for a meeting and assist in building team cohesion.

CFT Agenda Overview

The following provides a brief outline of the meeting steps for a Child and Family Team meeting. As mentioned above, it is helpful as a facilitator to have a clear idea of what you hope to do in a meeting and to get buy-in from participants.

  • Welcome (purpose, introduction, confidentiality, ground rules)

  • Strengths, Process, Family StoryFollow – Up on previous action items

  • Objectives/Goals

  • Needs

  • Options (Brainstorming)

  • Action Steps/Assignments

  • Plan for the next meeting/close

Sample CFT Agenda

Below, you can find a sample Child and Family Team meeting agenda. An agenda supports both the facilitator and participants in successfully moving through the meeting steps above. While a written agenda is not required, it can be a helpful facilitator tool. Regardless of whether you use a written agenda or verbally describe the meeting goals, you will want to go over the main meeting objectives with participants at the beginning of each meeting.


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Parting Words

Please note that there is not a specific order in which to facilitate a meeting. Although certain elements should be incorporated into every CFT meeting; it is possible that several items may be covered under one bullet point. The meeting should flow naturally and be family driven. The primary focus of the facilitator is to ensure that the 12 Principles are followed, and in turn: offer guidance, support, and facilitate brainstorming in regards to process and planning. The Facilitator should also encourage all attendees to provide input.

Bob Pemberton