Family Meeting Descriptions


The meeting is designed to establishing rapport and relationship building between the foster parent and the birth parents.

Who Attends

  • Biological parents/caregivers
  • Foster parent
  • OKDHS staff/ Indian Child Welfare staff (ICW)

What Occurs

The initial meeting is a time for the Birth Family, the foster family and the social worker to:

  • Begin establishing an open relationship with each other;
  • Know that the social worker supports the relations between the birth family and the bridge family;
  • Meet together and talk about the child and help each parent understand they will be sharing the parenting of the child;
  • Understand the meeting is to share information about the child and allow the parent to be the expert about their child;
  • Understand this meeting is not to discuss why the children were removed. However, the social worker may want to talk about the visitation plan, and any requirements or stipulations made by the court.

The meeting should last between 30 – 45 minutes.

Team Decision Making


The purpose of the meeting is to include the family, extended family, community members, caseworker, and other agency staff in assessing the families’ strengths, needs and risks, to formulate the best possible plan regarding placement.

Who Attends

  • Biological parents/ family members
  • Foster parent (if the child is in placement)
  • Community service providers
  • OKDHS staff/ ICW Staff

What Occurs

  • Meetings are held for ALL placement-related decisions, for ALL families served by the public child welfare agency.
  • In team decision making, the group is convened for the specific purpose of making an immediate placement related decision.
  • The public agency shares but does not delegate its responsibility to make critical placement decisions.
  • The meeting is a sharing of all information about the family that relates to the protection of the children and functioning of the family.
  • The goal is to reach a consensus about a plan that protects the children and preserves or reunifies the family.

Family Group Conferencing


Combines the strength of the family, their support systems, community organizations, and public agencies to support and empower the family to make and carry out a plan to safeguard children as well as resolve issues within the family unit.

Who Attends

  • Biological parents/Caregivers/ Family members
  • Community Service Providers
  • OKDHS staff/ICW Staff
  • Foster Parents (at different phases)

What Occurs

Phase 1- Placement

  • Takes place within 2 weeks of removal or can occur when an open case is identified with a child needing permanent placement
  • Discussion includes: placement, ICWA compliance, family dynamics, medical information, diligent search, visitation
  • Identify internal/external support systems for the family.

Phase 2-Individual Service Plan Development

  • Takes place within 45 days of removal or 2 weeks of adjudication
  • Family and workers discuss Strengths and Needs assessment, safety issues and available services

Phase 3- Reunification Preparation

  • Conference takes place prior to child returning home
  • Service plan progress discussed with family
  • On-going safety assessment and safety plan completed
  • Support/Reunification services in place prior to trial reunification

Phase 4 – Progress to Permanency

  • Can occur at anytime in the life of the case
  • If 6 month review and reunification prep meeting is not feasible this meeting should be scheduled
  • Identify continued risk, barriers, progress and/or resolutions
  • Permanency options are discussed by participants