The purpose of this paper is to clarify and elevate the role of Team Facilitator under the multidisciplinary team (MDT) and Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) model (MDT/CAC).
The authors of this paper represent the four Regional Children’s Advocacy Centers. Their goal in this paper is to clarify and elevate the role of Team Facilitator and explain its value to the effectiveness of the MDT. The authors’ perspective of the work of the Team Facilitator goes beyond expectations associated with MDT functioning as stated in the National Children’s Alliance (NCA) Standards for Accreditation. The current paper envisions a Team Facilitator role that is more expansive than current practice, which associates the position predominantly with leading case review meetings. Based on the authors’ personal experience, research on teams, and surveys from the field, the “gold standard” for high-functioning MDTs includes having a single person dedicated to the position of Team Facilitator within each MDT/CAC. The paper’s definition of the functions of the Team Facilitator is “to tend to the relationships, communication, and accountability of the MDT while fostering an inclusive environment to improve outcomes for children and families impacted by abuse.” The authors recognize that not all CACs have the capacity to hire a person with the defined responsibilities of Team Facilitator. In such cases, this paper recommends that the CAC, in consultation with the MDT, assign the role of Team Facilitator to one individual with sufficient time in their schedule to function as the Team Facilitator, rather than rotate or spread the responsibilities of the entire staff to designated tasks of the Team Facilitator. It is also critical that in nurturing the team the Team Facilitator have the skills and competencies to ensure the MDT functions at its highest level.
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