A Family Meeting when family members come together with the support of professionals and community resources to find out about each other and develop a family action plan to support your child/teen and family. Meetings should be scheduled at a time and place that best meets the needs of your family. There are two types of family meetings. A Family Resource Meeting is led by your agency case manager. A Family Partnership Meeting is led by a 3rd party neutral facilitator. Membership on the team is flexible, tailored to your child’s needs and should include:
- Your child when appropriate (youth age 14 or older are required to participate, unless it would be harmful to them.)
- Your primary public agency contact
- Representatives from other public agencies who can suggest or provide services may include; Community Mental Health (CSB), Schools, Family Services, Juvenile Court, Public Health & Recreation)
- Family Support Partners (Parent Representatives through NAMI)
- Others you may want to invite who are familiar with the strengths and needs of your family, including teachers, counselors, clergy, doctors, supportive friends and others
How to Prepare for a Family Partnership/Family Resource Meeting?
You are a respected member of this team and have an important voice in decisions regarding services for your child. As a member of the team, you should:
- Exchange important information among all team members regarding your child (your case manager will ask you to sign a written consent to exchange information.)
- Ask questions and receive as much information as possible about services, programs and resources for your child and your family
- Ask for explanations of new or unfamiliar words and phrases
- Be prepared to discuss your family resources such as insurance and what treatment services it may cover
What You Need to Know
- Many services and resources have eligibility criteria
- If you child is age 14 or older, you will be asked to bring them to the meeting
- Professionals who participate in the family meetings want to help you and your family. They will be asking you to speak up and ask questions for the benefit of your child and family.
What You Should Ask
- How is eligibility determined?
- What services and programs are available to my child and family?
- What is the length of service and how often do they occur?
- If there is a crisis, how do I get help?
- Are respite services available to help keep my child at home and in the community?
- What is the cost of services and what is my family’s financial obligation?
What You Can Do
Request that meetings are scheduled at a convenient time for you and your family.
Discuss with your case manager prior to meeting:
- All the information you wish to share with the team
- Proof of medical insurance, Medicaid or any other financial information that might be helpful in determining services for your child and family
- Bringing someone who will be a support to you (for example a family friend or relative and parent advocate)
- Provide accurate information about child’s strengths and needs
- Remember that every question that you have should be asked and answered. There is not a “dumb” or “foolish” question.
- Write down questions before you go to the meeting
- Write down the answers to your questions and any names and contact information
What to expect
Together with other team members, you will develop a written service plan known as a Youth and Family Meeting Action Plan (MAP) to meet the needs of your child and family. The MAP is a written plan that includes information about the:
- strengths and needs of your child and family,
- professionals involved with your family,
- services that have been provided,
- recommended services and
- intended results for the services (what you hope to achieve.)
- tasks and responsibilities of each team member in implementing the plan
There will be many questions about you and your child. A date will be set for the next meeting.