Family Group Conferences process

Family Group Conferences process

The Family Group Conference is made up of three main stages.

Information Sharing – we start by gathering and sharing information. All the professionals involved, starting most frequently with the Social Worker, share information about the family inclusive of the risks identified, any bottom lines and strengths. We would also invite the professional to share the set of questions that have been pre-agreed for the family to answer. We then ask the other professionals to build on that. The family would also have an opportunity during this stage to ask questions and seek to understand more information. Once all participants have had an opportunity to ask questions and understand the bottom line, questions and risks we move on to the next stage.

Private Family Time – the family are left alone to work together to answer the pre-agreed and prepared questions. We offer the family a flip chart board and pens to support them in the process of writing their plan. If the family members have any questions or need any support, we will ensure that the Coordinator and professionals are waiting in a room close to the family or in a separate virtual space should it be facilitated online. Once the family have finished, they will ask for us to return into the room.

Agreeing the Plan – following the family completing Private Family Time, the lead professional working with the family and the Family Group Conference Coordinator address the following questions with all the family members: Do the elements on the plan meet the bottom line? Is the plan clear and does it meet SMART objectives? Does everyone agree with the plan? Does that plan address the questions that were asked at the beginning of the meeting? If all of these elements have been addressed and agreed, then the plan is allocated a lead from the family to oversee the implementation of the agreed plan and is signed off and the meeting is therefore brought to a close.

The mediation was a huge help in sorting out our arrangements amicably

Thank you for helping us to have an honest conversation and think proactively about our next steps. You did it with professionalism and kindness.