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Promising Practices: Multidisciplinary Responses to Complex Homicide Cases

NCJ Number
Date Published
26 pages

Based on reports and training materials from seven sites involved in the Complex Homicide project - a federal effort to identify promising victim-centered, trauma-informed responses in complex homicide cases - this report is a resource for organizations that have or plan to have multidisciplinary teams (MDT) that respond to the needs of those adversely affected by a homicide.


MDTs are designed to provide comprehensive services to individuals directly affected by homicides that impact the decedent's family members, friends, and community residents ("survivors"). A multi disciplinary approach is promoted as facilitating collaboration and coordination in identifying and meeting the needs of homicide survivors. Each service provider represented on the team becomes aware of each service being provided to meet a survivor's needs, with input provided on the coordination and effectiveness of the services provided. After reviewing the benefits of a homicide MDT, this instructional guide discusses who should be involved in the MDT. After listing suggestions for types of professionals and stakeholders who might be included on a MDT, this guide focuses on techniques for contacting and persuading various professional and community representatives that participated on the MDT. A discussion of MDT meetings notes that the initial meeting is critical in motivating ongoing participation as team members. Various challenges that typically face MDTs are identified and suggestions offered for addressing each challenge. Challenges addressed include involving survivors in the goals and features of MDT services, sustaining personnel and financial resources for the MDT, and the management of survivor services for cases that involve children and gang violence. Other issues addressed in managing MDTs for homicide cases include evaluation of its effectiveness, staffing, and community outreach. Training and technical assistance resources for the MDT are also discussed.