Thank you for the opportunity to get us talking and working together again to make the children’s future brighter.
A family member
A Family Group Conference (FGC) is a meeting organised by an independent coordinator. You, the family, decide who comes to the meeting; this can be anyone who cares about your family and can offer support, like other family members, friends and neighbours. It is a chance to take time out from busy family life and let us help you find solutions and make a plan to deal with whatever is going on.
A FGC can help in almost any situation where something needs talking about and decisions need to be made, for example:
- Giving children, young people and families a voice when children’s services are involved
- Helping relatives or friends to care for children when they can no longer stay with their parents
- Supporting children who have been in care to return to living with their relatives
- Agreeing arrangements when parents separate
Find out more about Family Group Conferences using the boxes below.
- Why have a Family Group Conference?
Every family has problems and things to sort out and sometimes decisions need to be made.
Whether we are in difficult times, struggling to manage or needing support with making plans for our children, Family Group Conferences (FGC) can help.
- It’s your choice
An FGC will only go ahead if you agree to it and you can change your mind at any time. You choose:
- Where the meeting takes place
- The time of the meeting (including evening and weekends if it suits you)
- Who is invited to the meeting
- What food we have at the meeting
- It’s your meeting
Although your social worker and other agency workers (if you want them there) will attend the first part of the meeting, most of the people involved will be your family and friends. If your family live a long way away we will help with covering the cost of their travel. We will try and meet everyone in advance to explain what’s happening and help them to prepare. We will offer advocates to your children to support them through it and help them have their say too.
- It’s for you
Our aim is to give you, your family and your children an important role when decisions need to be made about your children’s lives.
- You have a say
At the FGC your family will find out what social workers and others are worried about and what needs to be sorted out. Then the workers leave and your family will have time in private to make your own decisions and agree a plan about what should happen.
- Family and Friends Steering Group
This is a group of family members and friends who have had an FGC and meet regularly to share ideas about the FGC service. We aim to find family volunteers with experience of FGC and the child protection process to train to meet families who are new to FGCs. We know some people can be worried about taking part and hearing
Why I had a Family Group Conference
“Useful meeting, the workers were at hand if needed but not intrusive”
“It gave us the kick up the bum we needed to ask for help”
“I think the FGC people are pretty wonderful”
“It was a success and afterwards the children seemed relieved to see us all playing again and having fun”
I’m happy that I got to see Nana and Granddad and we got to decide if I can sleep over”
“It helped me open up to my family about how bad things were”
“I took my time speaking and they listened to me carefully”
- Download: Family Group Conferences – information for family, relatives and friends
- Download: information for children and young people
- (A charter for Parents and Local Authority Children’s Services)
- For more information about FGCs please see Family Rights Group Website:
- Download: Child Protection Conference leaflet for children and young people.