Bringing Families Together


What We Do

Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) meetings create an opportunity for the family and their supports to come together to create a long term plan that will help everyone succeed. Families join with relatives, friends, and community members to develop a plan for ensuring children are cared for and protected in a manner that fits their culture and situation. It can be initiated by the family or community partners whenever an important decision about a child needs to be made. A family engagement specialist, who is independent of the case, brings together the family and agency personnel to create a plan that the family will carry out to safeguard their children. FGDM allows the family and referring entity to collaborate on a plan that adequately addresses agency concerns. FGDM actively seeks the collaboration and leadership of families in developing and implementing plans that support the safety, permanency, and well-being of their children.

Coordinators also facilitate Team Decision Making Meetings (TDM), Family Mediation, and Family Search & Engagement efforts. Contact us for specific information.

FGDM Core Values

  • Every child has the right to be safe.
  • Families have strengths and can change.
  • Supporting families is better than controlling them.
  • Strengths are enhanced when they are acknowledged and encouraged.
  • Agencies can support families.
  • Families prefer options to advice.
  • Strengths are what ultimately resolve concerns.

It’s an opportunity for you, your family members, and a selected group of people involved with your family, to come together and help you develop a blueprint for success that is both realistic and workable. Family Group Decision Making gives you the tools you need to build the framework for a hopeful future for your family!

Frequently Asked Questions

Each family and each set of circumstances is unique. Some families may require only one short meeting; others may require several short meetings, or even several longer meetings. Again, individual circumstances will determine how long the process will take.
Your FGDM Coordinator can help you choose a neutral environment where everyone participating feels safe and comfortable.
You may suggest as many people as possible who may be sources of support to your children and you. Your coordinator can help you select who among these will be the most appropriate to attend the meeting. Out-of-state family members, friends, supporters, and those who are providing services to your family and children can be meeting participants through the use of phone technology if needed.
Because the FGDM process directly affects your children, they will be included in the meeting in some capacity. Your FGDM Coordinator will discuss with you the best way they may be involved. Your child's involvement may range from having them represented by names or pictures, having them write a letter, or having them attend and participate in all or part of your meeting.

Meet Our Staff

J'aime Allbee, M.S.

Family Engagement Supervisor

Our Family Engagement Supervisor, J’aime Allbee, posess  a Master’s degree in Family Life and is currently pursuing her MSW through EWU. J’aime has been with FRTC since April 2014 serving in a dual role of facilitator and program supervisor. Prior to working for FRTC J’aime worked in inpatient drug treatment, mental health, and as a Director of Christian Education. J’aime’s two passions are working in the substance use disorder field and child welfare. One day J’aime and her husband hope to open up their own drug treatment center that will help parents involved in the child welfare system reunify with their children while maintaining sobriety. In her spare time J’aime can be found in her garden, on the lake with her family, or spending time with her 4 dogs.

Trish Nordquist, M.Sc.

Family Engagement Specialist

Trish coordinates and facilitates Family Engagement meetings (FGDMs and TDMs) throughout northern Idaho. The areas that she covers are: some Coeur d’Alene, Kellogg, St. Marie’s, and Ponderay. Trish has been facilitating these meetings through FRTC since 2013. Prior to that, Trish facilitated similar meetings in Colorado and California. She previously taught PRIDE for a couple of years through FRTC as well as for about 10 years in California. Ms. Falseordquist also worked as a Child Welfare social worker for 13 years and a part-time college instructor for 4 years. She moved to northern Idaho in 2013 to fulfill her dream of living in the mountains and forests. Her family includes her husband, three grown children, grandchild, and numerous pets..

Stephanie Duclos, BSW

Family Engagement Specialist

Stephanie Duclos coordinates and facilitates Family Engagements meetings (FGDM’s and TDM’s) in Idaho’s Region 2, essentially the area spanning Riggins to Moscow. Ms. Duclos has over twenty years of experience in social services ranging from teaching parenting classes in family’s homes through Child Protection Services to overseeing a treatment level foster care program throughout Eastern Washington and Idaho.

Working with the Family Resource and Training Center is a perfect balance of staying involved with children and families while being a full-time ranchers wife and mom of three beautiful children!

Our Approach

Meeting Preparation

  • You will be contacted by your Coordinator upon receipt of agency referral.
  • You and your Coordinator will discuss the purpose of the Family Group Decision Making meeting.
  • The Coordinator will work with you to develop a list of invitees for the meeting. 
  • Out-of-state family members, friends, supports, and those providing services to your family can participate in various ways.
  • You and your coordinator will discuss and determine the most appropriate way to involve your child(ren) in the meeting.
  • During preparation, your Coordinator will be available to answer any questions you may have about the meeting.
  • Preparation for the meeting can come in various forms of contact. This preparation period is essential to the success of your meeting.

Meeting Format

Welcome and Information Sharing

  • Your Coordinator will facilitate the meeting.
  • The meeting begins with introductions and staff roles, an explanation of meeting guidelines, and a statement of the meeting’s purpose.
  • You will have the opportunity to speak to the group and give your perspective on the events that led to the meeting.
  • All participants, including children, will be allowed to ask questions and to share information, thoughts, and ideas.
  • The Coordinator will bring forth any additional information from missing parties or information that has been shared during preparation that is relevant to creating your plan.
  • The Coordinator will then give clear guidelines for family time and give you an opportunity to ask additional questions.

Private Family Time

  • You and your family will then have time alone to discuss the information that you’ve heard, come to a decision, and develop a plan.
  • The Coordinator will be nearby for any questions you may have during your private family time.

Meeting Closure

  • The group comes back together, the plan is presented by the family, and the plan is reviewed and strengthened if necessary.
  • When the plan is adopted, next steps will be outlined by your referring agency.

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