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The Child and Family Team (CFT) Meeting Facilitation program is a partnership between Fred Finch, San Diego County Child Welfare Services, Behavioral Health Services, and Probation. CFT promotes the overall well-being of youth up to 21 years old through enhanced communication and collaboration with the people most important in their lives, including family and caregivers. 

When a specific need surfaces, CFT staff take the lead in organizing, scheduling, and facilitating a meeting.  The CFT facilitator starts by working with the youth and family or caregivers to discuss who specifically needs to participate in the treatment plan, which may include Protective Social Workers, Protective Social Worker Supervisors, Probation Officers, teachers, psychiatrists and therapists. The facilitator also convenes natural supports important to the family and youth such as neighbors, relatives, family friends, religious leaders and sports coaches.  


These meetings are essential in helping to create a culturally relevant and individualized plan for the youth and family to help them meet treatment goals to ensure the youth are able to receive these services while remaining in their home environment.


  • Children and youth up to 21 years of age with an active San Diego County Child Welfare Services (CWS) case (voluntary or court-involved) residing in an out-of-home placement and their families.

  • CWS children/youth eligible for Enhanced Services.

  • CWS/Probation involved children/youth up to 21 years of age identified as dual jurisdiction who are eligible for Enhanced Services.

  • Children/youth up to 21 years of age in an active San Diego County Probation case residing in an out of home placement and their families.

  • Probation youth up to 18 years of age, at risk of removal to foster care.

  • Children/youth within the Behavioral Health Services CYF system of care who are included in the expansion of ICC and IHBS services, who are not involved in the child welfare system.

CFT Eligibility

CFT Frequently Asked Questions

1) What training do the CFT Facilitators get?

The CFT Facilitators are hired for their work experience running and facilitating meetings. They also receive 40 hours of training from Child Welfare, Probation, and Behavioral Health Services on facilitation and initiatives/policies applicable to other agencies. The CFT Facilitators also receive ongoing training in facilitation skills as well as live observation and coaching by their Lead Facilitator.


2) How much notice does the CFT program need for referrals?/How far in advance must I send a referral for a CFT meeting?

You can send a referral from 72 hours up to one month in advance. (For standard CFT Meeting referrals, please allow a minimum of a 72-hour turnaround time.) For instance, if a CFT is due on December 1st, the referral can be sent any time after November 1st, but no later than November 27. We may not be able to accommodate referrals sent with less than 72 hours’ notice because of scheduling demands and there would not be enough time to complete the work required before a meeting. We ask that you do not send referrals more than one month in advance.


3) I want to shadow a CFT Meeting led by a FFYC CFT Facilitator. Is that possible?

Due to confidentiality regulations, it is not possible to shadow a CFT meeting. If you have any feedback or questions regarding the CFT Meeting process, please email Program Manager Laura McClarin ( or


4) What knowledge do the Facilitators have about CWS, Probation, Behavioral Health Services, and my individual program?

The Fred Finch CFT Facilitators receive both in-person training and complete BHETA e-learnings about CWS, Probation, and Behavioral Health Services. The role of the CFT Facilitator is to remain neutral and therefore may ask the team members of the CFT meeting to speak to their respective programs. The program also works with the Pathways to Well-Being BHS team to learn about programs within the System of Care. The FF CFT Meeting Facilitation Program is always open to learning more about other programs and resources.  Please email Program Manager Laura McClarin if you would like to arrange a specific training for the CFT Facilitators ( FF CFT Meeting Facilitation Program Frequently Asked Questions Revised 12/5/18


5) I scheduled a CFT meeting and now the CFT Facilitator wants to change the meeting time. Why?

One of the responsibilities of the FFYC CFT Meeting Facilitation Program is to schedule the CFT meeting in addition to calling all the participants of the CFT meeting, and gathering agenda topics. Another goal of the program is to increase the number of natural supports at the CFT meeting while expanding the locations of CFT meetings that occur in the community. Please refrain from sending CFT meeting referrals with set dates scheduled to avoid confusing youth, families, and team members.


6) What is an emergency CFT meeting?

An emergency CFT meeting is when a youth is at risk of a change of placement and needs to have a meeting to attempt to maintain the placement or make an alternate placement plan if that is not possible. As soon as the PO/PSW/BHS provider is aware that a youth is at risk of a change of placement, a referral to the CFT program should be submitted. We will invite the BHS Pathways Worker and/or Wraparound Services to support the placement as appropriate.


7) I have feedback about a CFT meeting I attended where the FFYC CFT Facilitator led the meeting. Who can I speak to?

There are Lead Facilitators who oversee each region and staff members. Feel free to reach out to them or the Program Manager with any feedback. The updated staff list is attached.


8) What type of referrals does the CFT program accept? Do youth have to be system involved?

The Fred Finch CFT Meeting Facilitation Program accepts referrals for youth who need a CFT meeting regardless of system involvement. The only referrals that the FF CFT program cannot accept are for in-home CWS cases, unless there is a BHS provider involved. Please be aware that at times FFAST or Wraparound may facilitate their own CFT meetings. If you need to know if you can send a referral please email


9) The CFT referral form has a space for the biological parent yet the youth doesn’t want them invited. Do they have to be invited?

If parents have parental rights and are in an open Child Welfare case they are mandatory members of the team. We can strategize about how to make the child feel safe in that environment; have them come in first and present their thoughts, then they can leave if they want, have a support person present, etc. You can add any pertinent information about the biological parent(s) by doing one of the following: • Expand and write any comments in the “current case status and meeting goal” area, OR • On the back where it lists persons by role, you can note their name(s) and describe the state of the relationship OR • Include the instruction about what accommodations need to made in your referral on the fax cover page or in the referral email. Fred Finch CFT Meeting Facilitation Program Frequently Asked Questions Revised 12/5/18


10) I want to know the status of my referral. How do I do that?

You can email to check the status of any referral.


11) Why is the CFT Facilitator calling me about the CFT meeting when I have already talked to someone about this meeting? Calling all members of the CFT Team is one of Fred Finch CFT Meeting Facilitation program’s responsibilities. This outreach also helps prepare all team members for the CFT meeting by gathering and streamlining agenda items for more productive CFT meetings. Your prompt response ensures that planning for the CFT meeting is moving forward and that all required members are present.



To make a referral to the Fred Finch CFT Program complete and email/fax THIS FORM to / Fax (858)335-3949.​

BHS Providers - Find Instructions for completing a referral to the Fred Finch CFT Program HERE.


Program Senior Director:  Laura McClarin


Contact CFT
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