Structured Decision Making (SDM) is a major practice initiative, implemented across Queensland in 2005 to assist the department practitioners in making decisions about children, young people and families.
Developed by the Children's Research Center (CRC), SDM incorporates a set of evidence-based assessments and decision-making guidelines designed to provide a higher level of consistency and validity in the assessment and decision-making process. It also is a method for targeting resources to families that are most likely to subsequently abuse or neglect their children. The term practitioner is used to reflect that SDM assessments are to be used by professional departmental officers.
SDM is not intended to make decisions. It assists decision-making by allowing practitioners to organise facts and evidence gathered, and is used in conjunction with the practitioner's professional judgement. This leads to a recommendation for action that must subsequently be approved by a line manager (team leader).
Further information about SDM is provided below under the following headings: