Family Group Decision Making

Family group Decision making (FGDM) is a family centered process that recognizes the importance of involving family groups in decision making about children who need protection or care. FGDM can be initiated by child welfare agencies whenever a critical decision about a child is required. In FGDM processes, a trained coordinator who is independent of the case brings together the family group and members. The processes position the family group to lead decision making and the agency agrees to support family group plans that adequately address the agency’s concerns for child safety, wellbeing, and permanency.

For additional information about FGDM values and core elements refer to FGDM Purpose Values and Processes posted on the Kempe Foundation for the Prevention and Treatment of Child abuse and Neglect. (The Kempe Foundation became the new national information and resource for FGDM in 2013.)

The principles and values of FGDM are consistent with the Minnesota Model for delivering safe, effective, family centered services to families and children. To view the Minnesota Model posted on the Department of Human Services web site go to Minnesota Child Welfare Practice Model.

Other sources of information regarding FGDM can be located at the following links:

  • The Child Welfare Information Gateway
  • The National Resource Center for Permanence and Family Connections
  • FGDM in Minnesota

    Grant funding to support the implementation and spread of FGDM in Minnesota has been available since January 2000. Grants are available to qualified county and tribal agencies in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP) initiated by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). Future RFP’s will be posted on the DHS web page.

    The FGDM grant initiative for calendar years 2016 and 2017 is implemented in partnership with 15 county grantees representing a total of 52 county agencies and four tribes. A listing of grantee’s and county/tribal partners.

    FGDM is funded through federal Title IV-B, sub part 2, of the Social Security Act. $1,366,090 is allocated for CY 2015 and 1,366,090 for CY 2016 to fund the initiative. Grant recipients are required to provide a non-federal cash match of 25% of the total budget. In past years, this 25% cash match has been met, with many counties significantly surpassing their target contribution.

    Goals and Values of FGDM Initiative

    The purpose of the FGDM grant initiative is to support and spread FGDM services to Minnesota counties and tribes that are interested in embedding this service within their child welfare service system. It is understood that as additional counties and tribes are added to the grant initiative, funds will be proportionally allocated to agencies according to need and available funding.

    The goals of FGDM in the Minnesota Child Welfare System include:

  • • Engaging families in planning for the safety and wellbeing of their children so that children may safely remain in their family home whenever possible.
  • • To safely reduce the number of children in placement and safely reduce the lengths of stay in out of home placement.
  • • To reduce racial disparities in Minnesota’s child placement system.
  • To provide planning for youth aging out of foster care placement and transitioning to independence.

    For more information regarding how FGDM can reduce racial disparities in the child welfare system (PDF).

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