FGC Information for Family & Friends
So what is a Family Group Conference (FGC)?
We all form part of a family. Each family is different, with its own history, set up, and personality.
Every family comes up against problems from time to time; that’s normal. FGCs are a way of helping families problem solve and make the best plan possible for the children within them.
Decisions at an FGC are made by members of the family, and not the professionals. So parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins and even friends are all involved in sorting out a situation that has occurred.
Reasons for holding an FGC might include:
How is an FGC arranged?
A trained FGC Coordinator will be given your case to work with you. The Coordinator (who is not a social worker) is independent. This means they will not be involved in making any decisions for your family at the FGC.
The Coordinator will come out and visit your family to explain in detail how the FGC works.
They will make arrangements with you about when and where the meeting will take place. As a family you will be totally involved in planning the meeting.
It can take several weeks before the meeting happens.
The Coordinator may decide to exclude certain family members from the meeting if there are concerns that their presence would be a risk to anyone’s safety.
What happens on the day of the FGC?
A) Information Giving
This is where the social worker and professionals working with you outline the concerns and give you information about services, resources, and support that may be available to you. This part of the meeting is chaired by the FGC Coordinator.
B) Private Family Time
Professionals and the Coordinator are not present during this part. You, as a family, have time to talk and come up with a plan that looks at the concerns raised by people during Part A) of the meeting.
C) Agreeing the Plan
The coordinator and professionals re-join the meeting to hear your plan. Any services or support needed to make the plan work are discussed. The plan should be agreed by the professionals unless it places the young person at risk of significant harm. Everybody decides how they will check if the plan is working and what they will do if it is not. The coordinator will type up the plan and makes sure everybody gets a copy.
D) Reviewing the Plan
A FGC review meeting is often arranged to see how the plan is working and make new plans if necessary. This usually happens 3 months after the original meeting.
Things to remember….
An FGC is a useful tool but is not necessarily going to be the solution for every family.
BUT if all parties are flexible an FGC can change lives for the better!
If you would like to speak to someone please contact us:
Click here to download our FGC leaflet for Family & Friends.