Family group conferences

A social worker (or another professional working with your family, such as an early help worker or a member of staff at your child’s school) may suggest having a meeting with you if your child is at risk of coming into care or there are worries about their school attendance. Sometimes they may suggest meeting earlier, before problems occur, if they think it will help.

The meeting is called a family group conference (FGC) and it’s where your whole family – including extended family and friends - has the chance to discuss things with help from professionals who know you and your child.

You and the professionals will use the conference to develop a plan together which will support your child both now and in the future.

How the conference works

Our co-ordinator arranges with you:

  • when and where the conference will happen
  • invites everyone who needs to be there
  • makes sure everyone has the information they need.

The conference should include everyone in the family who is important in the child’s life, as well as all the professionals who work with your family or your child.

You will decide what you want to do for your child and put together the plan yourselves, based on what you talk about at the conference and the information that the professionals bring.

As long as the plan is safe for your child, it will be agreed and everyone will work together to make sure it is carried out (in some cases this may mean getting a court order).

Many families who have had family group conferences with us tell very positive stories of their experience.

Set up a family group conference

If you think that a conference could help you and your family, mention it to one of the professionals who is working with your family or your child. We need the request for a conference to come from a professional such as a social worker, early help worker or a member of staff at your child’s school.