Stay Involved While Your Child is in Care

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What is a Family Team Conference?  Do I need to attend?

Family Team Conferences (FTCs) bring together people who are interested in and care about the family’s well-being. FTC’s are held to ensure that the best decisions are made with regard to the child’s safety, permanency and well-being. FTC meetings are conducted when a child is moved from one home to another, or if a child is being considered for reunification with their family or a permanent resource, to ensure the appropriate measures toward permanency are being taken for the child. The objective of an FTC is to reach an agreement about a plan that protects the child, preserves and reunifies the family and establishes permanency for the child in the least restrictive and intrusive setting.

It is important that you attend Family Team Conferences for your child.  The areas that are discussed in a Family Team Conference are strengths, concerns, ideas and an action plan. Within these four areas the families are able to express their strengths, needs and identify resources with whom they are connected.  All of the participants have the opportunity to address there concerns in a supportive environment without shaming or blaming. The overall purpose of a Family Team Conference is to reunify the family.

What is the Family Support Unit?  How can they help me?

The Family Support Unit provides services to both birth parents and foster parents. Its primary goal is to support, empower and advocate Graham Windham’s foster parents and birth parents.  The Family Support Unit consists of two Parent Advocates, a Foster Parent Coordinator and a Family Assistant and Support Specialist.

Graham-Windham’s Parent Advocates build a relationship with our birth parents right from the beginning of the case and continue the relationship until the children are reunified. The Parent Advocates:

  • Work in partnership with the case planner and the birth parent with helping the family focus on everyday challenges that they may face and help to identify solutions to those problems.
  • Work with families, in partnership with the case planner, to understand what contributed to negative behaviors and explore prevention strategies.
  • Helps in identifying support services that will help the parent on what needs to be done to reduce risk and protect the children.
  • Ensure that the birth parent feels supported at all times while they are involved with the agency.

Parent Advocates are also aware of a wide range of resources available for our families throughout Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island.


What is Solution-Based Casework?

Solution-Based Casework (SBC) is a model for working with families involved in the child welfare system that has been shown to improve outcomes for children and families.  It targets specific everyday events in the life of a family that have caused the family difficulty, and puts family members in charge of creating their own plan and making changes in their lives.  Solution-Based Casework has been used successfully in other states, and Graham Windham is the first agency in New York City to implement a proven practice model across all of its child welfare programs.  We are excited about the positive changes the use of Solution-Based Casework will make in the lives of the families and children we serve.