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What to Expect: Family Group Conferences

Information for families about what to expect at a Family Group Conference (FGC).

All families experience difficulties and sometimes need help from time to time. A Family Group Conference (FGC) is a way of getting your child's 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 but something that we recommend.

This is a well prepared meeting and will take around 6 weeks to arrange with a coordinator.

What happens at an FGC?

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

This process is led by family members, which means that professionals only attend for part of the meeting to offer information. They then leave, allowing your family to make decisions and plan for the future.

Once you have agreed a plan, the professionals return to the meeting. The plan is discussed so that everybody knows what they are going to do, and to check that there is no risk to the children. The family then chooses someone to monitor the plan and there is usually another FGC planned for a later date, normally in two months.

How is an FGC arranged?

A professional 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 be worrying them.

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 to help them prepare.

Where will the meeting take place?

The FGC will take place outside of the home, at a venue somewhere in the community close to your home. The coordinator will make sure that this is at a time and place to suit the people who want to attend. The co-ordinator will make all the necessary arrangements.

After the FGC

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. If it is felt necessary and wanted, we can review the plan at another meeting in a few months time.

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