Family Group Conferences (FGCs), or family meetings, are decision making meetings that enable families to discuss and decide on their own solutions to problems. It empowers the family to take control of the process while being mediated by one of our ISWs.
The family network can include anyone important to family members, not just blood relations. The allocated social worker for the family will need to be at the FGC to provide information about the concerns. Families are able to invite any other professionals they think would be helpful, but attendance by other professionals is not required. The decisions made at a FGC are agreed by the local authority, as long as they are safe for any children involved.
Family Group Conferences happen in three parts:
1. 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.
2. Private family time – The family is left on their own to discuss the issues and write up their plan. Examples of family plans are available from the Documents section of this page.
3. 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.