Team decision making in child welfare
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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