Family Group Conference
What is a Family Group Conference?
A Family Group Conference (FGC) is a process led by family members to plan and make decisions about problems/worries they may be having. They are voluntary decision making meetings to help families find their own solutions to problems.
The FGC process empowers a family and their network to draw on their strengths and resources to make a safe plan for their children. FGC’s ensure the family network have a chance to hear and discuss concerns. They also give an opportunity for everyone to be listened to including the child and young person(s). You can find out more about how FGC’s came about on the Family Rights Group website.
What can I expect in a Family Group Conference?
Every family considering having a FGC is given an independent FGC Co-ordinator who helps the family discuss their worries and prepare for their meeting.
The FGC process is family led and families get to choose:
The venue of the meeting
Time of the meeting (including evening and weekends if it suits the family)
Food at the meeting
Who is invited to the meeting
The family can include anyone important to family members, not just blood relations. The allocated social worker or key worker for the family will need to be at the FGC to provide information about the worries. Families are able to invite any other professionals they think would be helpful. The decisions made at a FGC are agreed by Social Care as long as they are safe for any children involved.
Family Group Conferences happen in three parts:
Information sharing – Where the lead professional will talk to the family about the concerns the local authority has. The family can ask questions/get more information about the situation and options available.
Private family time – The family is left on their own to discuss the issues and write up their plan.
- Agreeing the plan - The whole group gets back together to view the plan, ensure it is clear to everyone at the meeting and anyone who may not be, and gain agreement from the referrer/local authority.