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What to Expect: Family Group Conferences

This information is for families.

All families have problems and sometimes need help to sort things out. A Family Group Conference (FGC) is a way of getting your family, other relatives and close friends together to plan to make things better.

Children and young people are normally involved in their own family conference and will be supported through the process.

The FGC is voluntary; you cannot be forced to have one.

What happens at an FGC?

A Family Group Conference is a meeting for your family where you all have a chance to come up with ideas about how to improve things for children in the family.

The process is led by family members, which means that professionals only attend for part of the time to offer information. They then leave you and your family to make decisions. Once you have agreed a plan, the professionals return to the meeting and the plan is discussed so that everybody knows what they are going to do and to check there is no risk to the children. The family chooses someone to monitor the plan and there is usually another FGC planned for a later date, probably in two months.

How is an FGC arranged?

A person already working with you will ask for your agreement to have a FGC. They will agree with you a simple description of how things are in your family, and what things might need to be sorted out.

An independent Co-ordinator will visit you and explain more about the FGC meeting. They will make contact with all family members, close friends and any professionals that you think should attend.

Where will the meeting take place?

The FGC usually takes place outside the home at a time and place to suit the people who want to attend. The Co-ordinator will make the arrangements.

What next?

After the meeting, the Co-ordinator makes sure everyone who was invited gets a copy of the plan.

For the plan to succeed, everyone in the family tries their best to make it work. The family keeps an eye on how things are going, to make sure people are following the plan.

More questions?

Download the doc icon FGC guide for families and children [4Mb].