Family Group Conferencing Service
Family Group Conferencing Service
The Family Group Conferencing Service works with children and young people who have a social worker and their families to develop solutions to problems or make important decisions.
What is a Family Group Conference?
A Family Group Conference is a meeting where family members and those close to the family, come together to make a plan for a child or young person. This usually happens when there is a problem that needs to be solved or a decision about a child or young person's future needs to be made.
Why have a Family Group Conference?
Families can make good decisions and plans for their children if they are given the information they need to do so. A Family Group Conference gives the child or young person and their family the opportunity to come up with answers to the problem that needs to be solved.
What is different about this type of meeting?
A Family Group Conference is different because it is led by the family. The child and their family decide who attends and have input to where and when the meeting will be held. The child is also involved in discussions and the decision making with their family.
A Family Group Conference Co-ordinator is allocated to help the child and family arrange and prepare for the meeting, and will facilitate the meeting. This means they will help everyone attending the meeting to share their views and develop and agree their solutions.
Who is it for?
Only families that are working with Children’s Social Care can be referred for a Family Group Conference and must meet specific criteria.
The Family Group Conferencing Service does not hold Family Group Conferences in relation to:
- cases which are working with Children’s Social Care in relation to Private Law matters; or
- cases where the primary issue/concern relates to Family Time.
What does the Family Group Conference Co-ordinator do?
The Family Group Conferencing Co-ordinator is responsible for co-ordinating and facilitating the Family Group Conference. This will involve visits to family members and children and discussion with practitioners before the Family Group Conference takes place. They will also attend the Family Group Conference to help everyone share their views and develop and agree their solutions.
The Family Group Conferencing Co-ordinator does not attend any other meetings about the child or young person that are part of their work with Children's Social Care. The Family Group Conferencing Co-ordinator is neutral, that means they have no statutory or decision-making responsibilities in relation to the child. Family Group Conferences are co-ordinated independently from the allocated social work service.
Do I have to have a Family Group Conference?
Family Group Conferences are totally voluntary. It is up to parents and carers and their children if they wish to have one.
Who can make a referral to the Family Group Conferencing Service?
The child or young person’s social worker is the only person who can make a referral for a Family Group Conference. Children, young people, families and other practitioners cannot refer to the service.
If you think a Family Group Conference would be helpful for you or your family please speak to your social worker .
Need more information?
Telephone the Family Group Conferencing Service on 0191 211 6040 (Monday- Friday 9am to 5pm)