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Deciding On Our Focus

Welcome to the Help Desk for North Carolina adult protection multidisciplinary teams (MDTs). The purpose of the Help Desk is to create a space where all members of the adult protection community can access information and direct questions related to establishing and maintaining strong MDTs. We know that across the state MDTs are in various stages of development. Some counties have fully functioning MDTs. Some counties want to re-invigorate their efforts and some counties haven’t gotten off the ground yet with your team. The Help Desk is here for all of you – every community, and everyone who participates in the MDT.

We want you to contact us when you are facing challenges. You may want ideas about how to strengthen your team. Or perhaps you need coaching on taking your first steps in forming an MDT. Some of you may need help managing dynamics among your team members or maybe you need to access specific legal expertise in managing a current case. The Help Desk is here to support you in all of these situations. Simply reach out via email or phone to connect with us.

Below you will find a compilation of frequently asked questions we’ve received at the Help Desk, organized by subject matter.

Posted on
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 10:28 am
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How does a multi-disciplinary team decide whether to focus on the whole system or on individual case reviews? And what difference does that make for the MDT?

Here is a link to “Legal Framework for North Carolina’s Elder Protection System” notebook. The discussion on MDT options for focus starts on page 22. /roadmap_manual/elderprotection_book_20...

SYSTEM FOCUS = GENERAL DISCUSSION = OPEN PARTICIPATION If your MDT focuses on the system, you speak in general terms about your expectations of each other, as well as the processes or protocols that guide your interactions. You can create opportunities to acquire education about specific concerns. You can improve system response by sharing information about professional or legal guidelines and perspectives. You might also choose to engage in community education efforts in your community or to share information within your team about a specific professional role, a particular type of vulnerability, an emerging threat to elders, or some other concern that is present in your community.

Community members can drop in or out of these conversations as needed. For example, your MDT might invite someone from Animal Control to have an in-depth conversation about options for action in cases where the number or treatment of animals indicates a risk for the vulnerable adult in the home.

CASE REVIEW FOCUS = DISCUSSION OF INDIVIDUAL CASES = LIMITED PARTICIPATION If your MDT wants to discuss specific local cases for the end goal of better understanding each other’s perspectives in past situations in order to enable improvements in future response or intervention, you will first need to establish information sharing agreements to protect the confidentiality of the people you serve. Because of the background work necessary for enabling full communication across professional roles on the MDT, case review teams do tend to be more formal in their documentation and processes.

Chapter 8 of “Developing an Elder Abuse Case Review MDT in Your Community,” published by the Elder Justice Initiative of the Department of Justice provides extensive guidance for MDT’s that want to focus on case reviews.

HYBRID MDT Your MDT might opt to have a core team that operates with information sharing agreements in order to conduct case reviews, then periodically hold broader, informal meetings to discuss generic issues of concern across the system.