Family group conferences

A Family Group Conference is a meeting of the family group (which can include blood relations as well as significant friends and supportive people from the local community, church, etc.) with the aim that the family group will find their own solutions to the problems.


Whilst professionals attend the Family Group Conference (FGC), it is the family who are the decision makers.  The role of the professionals within an FGC is to share what they know about the child and the presenting issues, and what support may be available.  Therefore it is only those professionals who are directly involved, or who have significant information, who are invited to an FGC.

The information sharing section of an FGC is chaired by a specific co-ordinator.  Once all information has been shared, then all professionals and the co-ordinator withdraw (unless a specific request is made by the family).  The family then have an opportunity to discuss the issues amongst themselves and agree a plan, as well as a contingency plan.

The plan drawn up by the family is then passed to the person who made the referral for an FGC for agreement.  Realistically, unless the plan is unsafe for the child or makes requests that cannot be met, the plan should be agreed.  It is then up to the family and professionals to work together to move the plan forward, with there being a review process built in.

Making a referral for an FGC

Currently there is no provision for Family Group  Conferencing although there are individual staff members who have been trained to deliver FGC.  If you identify this as a need for a family that you are working with, please discuss with your line manager.