Family Group Conferences (FGCs)

A Family Group Conference is a process led by family members to plan and make decisions for a child who is at risk. Children and young people are normally involved in their own family group conference, although often with support from an advocate.

FGCs are voluntary making meetings to help families find their own solution to problems, and are sometimes referred to as family meetings.

The process empowers families and their network to drawn on their strengths and resources to make a safe plan for their children. FGCs ensure the family network have a chance to hear and discuss concerns. It also gives an opportunity for everyone to be listened too, including the child and young person(s). It can also be an opportunity to be informed of any resources that could help them improve family life.

What can you expect in the family group conference

Every family considering having a FGC is given an independent FGC Coordinator who helps them discuss the concerns and prepare for their meeting.  

The FGC process is family led and families get to choose:

  • The venue of the meeting
  • Time of the meeting (including evenings and weekends if it suits the family)
  • Food at the meeting
  • Who is invited to the meeting

The family network can include anyone important to family members, not just blood relations, and the allocated social or key worker would be there to provide information about the concerns. Family members are also able to invite any other professionals they think would be helpful, but attendance by other professionals is not a requirement. The decisions made at a FGC are agreed by the local authority, as long as they are safe for any child/young person involved.