About Child and Family Teams (CFTs)
There is an increasing body of evidence showing that services for children and families are most effective when delivered in the context of a single, integrated team that includes the child or youth, his or her family, natural and community supports, and professionals. In California, the Child and Family Team (CFT) process is key to the success of the Continuum of Care Reform efforts and the well-being of children, youth, and families served by public agencies and their partners. It is based on the belief that children, youth, and families have the capacity to resolve their problems if given sufficient support and resources to help them do so.
The process begins when a child or youth enters foster care, and a child welfare social worker or juvenile probation officer engages with a child or youth and his or her family and then uses a variety of strategies to identify other team members, the child or youth’s strengths, the child, youth, and family’s concerns, and a plan to help achieve positive outcomes for safety, permanency, and well-being. This strengths-based approach to practice recognizes that families are experts in their own lives, and they can achieve success when they have an active role in creating and implementing solutions.
The CFT process aligns with recent implementation of the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Assessment tool by CDSS and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).To learn more about how the CANS and the CFT process work together, please follow the links below.