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Returning Home or Not: Research on Team Decision-Making to Assess the Termination of Children Protection Placement
children and adolescent protection
leaving residential placement
Abstract The purpose of this research is to understand the operation of the team decision-making that the children and adolescents under residential placement can return home. By understanding the current circumstances, looking at the system operation for decision-making, and collecting information on related experiences, the researcher is able to offer concrete the ideas to improve the quality of child protection services and protect the rights of the children, adolescents, and their families. The researcher conducted in-depth interviews on seven social workers and supervisors that work at the Center for Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sex in the northern area of Taiwan. The research findings are as follows: 1. When the clients can leave residential placement and return home: In direct practice, factors that affect the team decision-making process can be categorized into five aspects – the aspect of children and adolescents, the familial aspect, the aspect of community resources, the legal aspect, and others. the team decision-making has considered the holistic evaluation to make assessments on whether children and adolescents could return home and make decisions based on the entire group’s evaluation. 2. Experiences with the team decision-making: Social workers with experiences in direct practice have some positive feedback about the team decision-making for deciding if children and adolescents can return home. However, they also have some advice for making changes to the system. Participants of the meeting with the last vote in the decision-making process are different around Taiwan. They impact the final decision to allow children and adolescents to return home. 3. Advice for the team decision-making: The entire child protection system for deciding if children and adolescents can return home needs to shift from the “system’s level”. Not only will it help social workers show their professionalism in work, but it can also protect the rights of children, adolescents, and their parents.
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