The Youth Family Team Meeting Process: A Step-by-Step Guide to Implementation

There is no denying that family court can be a frustrating place to work. It often feels as though every option has been given to a child to no avail. With every budget crisis, another program designed to help children disappears. Court workers are often left with few options or with the feeling that the programs available will not address the cause of a youth’s negative behavior.

The Youth Family Team Meeting (YFTM) offers a low-cost intervention to address the actual causes of misbehavior, while including the family in the process of inventing new, innovative service plans that use community resources.

A YFTM brings together the youth, his or her family, service providers, and other significant people in the youth’s life to call attention to the youth’s strengths, identify his or her needs, and develop an innovative plan to address those needs. It differs from other models because it does not highlight a youth’s misbehavior. The YFTM focuses on how the community can work together to build on the youth’s strengths by designing services specifically to meet his or her unique needs, not one-size-fits-all interventions.

This publication will aid agencies and organizations in implementing the YFTM concept to help

system-involved youth and families use existing community resources for service plans. It is a step-by-step guide intended to support agencies and organizations implementing the concept.