This is a decision making meeting which will be arranged and chaired by an independent co-ordinator. They are based on the principles of partnership ie of working together to enable families to find their own solutions. The process aims to build on a family's strengths to empower them to understand the concerns and plan, where necessary with the support of professional services and community networks, to keep their child safe.
Family is defined broadly to include the child, parents, extended family and close family friends who are concerned about the child.
The family group conference co-ordinator will meet with the family and child to ensure they understand the concerns that have been raised. They will also ask both who they think should attend and where and when the meeting should take place.
The co-ordinator will talk to the child about how they would like to contribute to the meeting and whether they would like an advocate to attend to help put forward their views. The child may also choose to contribute by other means if they feel unable to attend the conference. The aim of the conference is to empower the child and the family to come up with a plan to resolve problems and enact change.
The meeting will be made of three parts:
- Information sharing - the referrer and agencies explain to everyone what their concerns are and the reasons for the concerns, giving clear information regarding their available support.
- Private family time - the family is left alone to discuss the situation and put together a plan to address and resolve the concerns.
- Agreeing the plan - when the family are ready, conference co-ordinator and referrer will rejoin them so the family can explain their plan. The referrer can say if they feel this appropriately covers the concerns they have raised.
Family Group Conference Service
1 Walton Grove
Telephone: 01296 319590