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Onboarding New MDT Members

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
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 - 9:26 am
Authored by


In the spirit of onboarding…

The NC Elder Protection Network team would like to start this week’s forum with a friendly welcome to our members, new and old. Faculty and staff from the UNC School of Government created this space as part of the Elder Protection Project to connect diverse people who are committed to protecting our elder population. Our mission is to “provide information about the various components of the elder protection system and facilitate connections across the system.”

On this website you will find

  • Resources to help respond to elder abuse and form multidisciplinary teams (MDT).
  • A NC map of MDTs and professionals working in aging adult services
  • Discussion forums from people in the community
  • A space to communicate and plan with your MDT

Why should we onboard?

The onboarding process makes the transition from independent community member to team member easier by helping new recruits understand their roles on the team. This investment in effort helps new members understand their potential contributions, which is critical to retention. The process may take several months but will lead to increased productivity and an overall better team.

How to onboard new members

The following checklist can help smooth out the onboarding process:

  • Welcome your member: Introduce the new member and create opportunities for the member to meet the team and share stories or information.
  • Provide an overview of the MDT: Remind the new member of the mission, policies, and culture of the MDT. Include any important history and procedures. Additionally, try developing a team factbook or FAQ with detailed answers to questions new members might have.
  • Discuss roles: Be sure to not only orient new members of their roles, but also the roles of others on the team.
  • Assign a mentor: Assign someone who can show the new member the ropes of the organization and serve as a reference.
  • Offer recurring meetings: Regular meetings open the floor to feedback from both the supervisor and the new member. New members can offer an outsider's perspective on the team and offer improvements. Ask the new members to speak up about what they need to be successful on the team.

MDTs might also consider a new member orientation event annually or during times of large turnover. This orientation should cover the following:

  • The history, values, and mission of the MDT
  • The structure, roles, and contributions of the current team members
  • Commonly used terms and acronyms
  • Policies and procedures of operation
  • Channels of communication to use for cases, as well as the MDTs operations
  • How cases are considered for review and investigated
  • How systemic issues are raised for focused attention
  • Any other relevant information about the MDT

Finally, as a reminder, be sure to create a written record of team progress. The benefit of documenting your MDT’s work is that new members have a record to refer to when educating themselves about the history, products, and process of the MDT.

Margaret Henderson and Rebekah Appleton relied on resources contained within the following to co-author this post:
“Developing an Elder Abuse Case Review Multidisciplinary Team in Your Community” from the department of justice MDT toolkit. Drawing from primarily from chapter 3: