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Team decision making in child welfare

  • Nouwen, Eva
  • Decuyper, Stefan
  • Put, Johan
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    Decision making in child welfare is increasingly being reconceptualized as a collaborative practice. While teams have the potential to make better decisions, this is not easy to achieve. Based on an extensive multi-disciplinary review and an in-depth case study of two child welfare teams in Flanders, we propose a framework to guide and evaluate team decision making in child welfare. The results indicate that the quality of the decision making process relates to team learning processes like team reflexivity and the construction of shared mental models. Team learning in turn seems to be affected by team leadership and a solid social and structural team architecture (committed professionals, trust and alignment). We also discuss the difficulty of evaluating decision quality in the context of child welfare, theoretical and practical implications, and lines for future research.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Children and Youth Services Review.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 10 ()
    Pages: 2101-2116

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:10:p:2101-2116
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    1. Lick, Dale W., 2006. "A new perspective on organizational learning: Creating learning teams," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 88-96, February.
    2. Wells, Susan J. & Lyons, Peter & Doueck, Howard J. & Brown, C. Hendricks & Thomas, Judy, 2004. "Ecological factors and screening in child protective services," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(10), pages 981-997, October.
    3. Alper, Steve & Tjosvold, Dean & Law, Kenneth S., 1998. "Interdependence and Controversy in Group Decision Making: Antecedents to Effective Self-Managing Teams," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 33-52, April.
    4. Horwath, Jan & Morrison, Tony, 2011. "Effective inter-agency collaboration to safeguard children: Rising to the challenge through collective development," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 368-375, February.
    5. van Ginkel, Wendy P. & van Knippenberg, Daan, 2008. "Group information elaboration and group decision making: The role of shared task representations," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 82-97, January.
    6. Schwalbe, Craig, 2004. "Re-visioning risk assessment for human service decision making," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 561-576, June.
    7. Wells, Rebecca, 2006. "Managing child welfare agencies: What do we know about what works?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 1181-1194, October.
    8. Gruenfeld, Deborah H & Mannix, Elizabeth A. & Williams, Katherine Y. & Neale, Margaret A., 1996. "Group Composition and Decision Making: How Member Familiarity and Information Distribution Affect Process and Performance," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 1-15, July.
    9. van Ginkel, Wendy P. & van Knippenberg, Daan, 2009. "Knowledge about the distribution of information and group decision making: When and why does it work?," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 218-229, March.
    10. Mohammed, Susan & Ringseis, Erika, 2001. "Cognitive Diversity and Consensus in Group Decision Making: The Role of Inputs, Processes, and Outcomes," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 310-335, July.
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