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2003 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 8, No. 2
March 2002

Child and Family Team Meetings and MRS

Under North Carolina's Multiple Response System (MRS), county departments of social services use a form of family conferences known as child and family team meetings with families involved with child protective services. Agencies may use any commonly accepted family conferencing model or devise their own. Under MRS:

  • Child and family team meetings occur within seven days of the time the decision is made to substantiate or reach a finding of “services required.”

  • The primary function of these meetings is to engage the family and other interested parties in joint decision-making and to provide the family with support.

  • The meeting addresses the family’s strengths and needs and how these affect the child’s safety, permanence, and well-being; it also results in a plan that specifies what must occur to help the family safely parent the children.

  • This is a meeting is with the family. Therefore the family and the social worker jointly decide who will be invited to the meeting. Typically families invite their parents, the child (if appropriate), and other supportive people.

  • Child and family teams are involved with the family throughout the life of the case, even if it is necessary to remove a child from the home due to safety issues.

  • Most successful meetings require a trained, neutral facilitator to prepare for, facilitate, and follow up after the meeting

To learn more about North Carolina's Multiple Response System, visit <http://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/dss/childrensservices/mrs/index.htm>.