DEC Team Concept

What is a DEC Team?

DEC teams are groups of professionals who come together to provide comprehensive assessment and consultation in abuse cases. While their primary purpose is typically to help team members resolve difficult cases, teams may fulfill a variety of additional functions. They can promote coordination between agencies; provide a "checks and balances" mechanism to ensure that the interests and rights of all concerned parties are addressed; and identify service gaps and breakdowns in coordination or communication between agencies or individuals. They also enhance the professional skills and knowledge of individual team members by providing a forum for learning more about the strategies, resources, and approaches used by various disciplines.

Why is the DEC Team Approach so Important?

A coordinated multidisciplinary response to children found at clandestine meth lab sites will help ensure that all the needs of each child are met and that evidence is gathered to support the management and prosecution of each case. Personnel who respond to seizures of illegal drug laboratories and conduct investigations may be from any of the law enforcement, social services, prosecution, environmental health, mental health, and medical communities. These personnel usually respond according to their own agency's protocols and, in most instances where multidisciplinary teams have not been established, operate independently. When jurisdictions do not coordinate their responses to these complicated scenes, personnel often overlook children's needs or assume another agency will address these needs, fail to remove children from conditions of endangerment, or fail to gather adequate evidence to substantiate appropriate endangerment and other legal charges. Coordinated multidisciplinary investigations enhance information gathering, evidence integrity, interventions, and comprehensive treatment services for children and their families.

For a direct link to each Florida DEC Alliance agency website, click on the following: