What is Family Team Decision Making (FTDM)

Family Team Decision-Making (FTDM) is a way for the family to work together with the Iowa Department of Humans Services to make plans and decisions about how to help the family. It draws upon a family‘s strengths, experiences, knowledge, and resources to create a plan that provides for the safety and well-being of children in the family. There will be a meeting scheduled that involves people who care about you and want you and your family to do well.

The state of Iowa created a process that all FTDM facilitators must have a state approved number. In order to receive the state approved number, the person must:

1. Complete 3-Day DHS-approved Facilitator Training.

  • Day 1: Foundations, Standards, and Philosophy of FTDM
  • Day 2: Case scenario through a family sculpting activity, then practiced assessing the family’s underlying needs, analyzing its strengths, and developing family goals and steps
  • Day 3: Role-playing of simulated FTDM meetings, then take turns facilitating different positions of the meeting. Participants practice engagement strategies, defusing conflict, asking solution-focused questions, and offering strength-based feedback.

2. Complete a Family Team Decision-Making meeting as a co-facilitator with an approved coach and mentor who has been provided coaching and written feedback.

3. Complete a Family Team Decision-Making meeting as lead-facilitator with an approved coach and mentor who has provided coaching and written feedback.

NOTE: A person has six months from completion of the three day FTDM training to meet the other two requirements for the initial approval and assignment of a facilitator approval number.


What is Youth Transition Decision-Making (YTDM):

YTDM provides a positive and action-oriented response by caring adults and professionals to address the needs and desires of the youth.  The YTDM planning process will help the worker complete case plans through a youth-adult partnership approach.  Planning for education, employment, health, support networks, and housing will all be addressed throughout the process. In order to achieve positive results associated with the FTDM and YTDM process; this set of standards and practice guidance was developed in collaboration with DHS and external stakeholders to ensure that every family is offered the opportunity to participate in the FTDM and YTDM process unless the family is unwilling or to do so at this time would place a family member in danger.

YTDM applies the FTDM process, philosophy, and practice strategy for youth transitioning into adulthood.  Building teams to support youth and young adults who are at risk of homelessness, unemployment, and poor health has been identified as an effective means to address the factors that threaten a successful transition.

Effective July 1, 2017, anyone interested in attending the one (1) day YTDM meeting facilitator training course must first obtain a FTDM meeting facilitator approval number and be an active FTDM meeting facilitator.