A multidisciplinary response to sexual assault cases is beneficial to our work and our communities. It cultivates communication and collaboration among service providers and system professionals; increases the effectiveness of criminal justice, social service, medical, and community interventions; and ultimately, it improves the response to and experiences of survivors.
This approach is most often supported through the development of teams comprised of the primary stakeholders who work with children and nonoffending caregivers. Although there is consensus that multidisciplinary partnerships are best practice, there is no single "right" model for success. Rather, each team will be shaped by the unique context of its community and adapt to the changing needs and challenges that inevitably surface.
Whether your multidisciplinary team (MDT) is new or old, struggling or flourishing, it is the hope that this document will provide some grounding information and quick tips that may be useful as you continue to develop, evaluate, or modify your team and your role within it. Many of the helpful hints and insights in this resource were gathered through conversations and visits with multiple teams and sexual assault program staff across Washington State. You all are truly the experts!