Do you run or manage an FGC? September 2013
We are now undertaking an important survey of FGC projects. We need you to fill this in, so that the FGC Network can have maximum impact in influencing policy at a national level, in demonstrating the outcomes of FGCs, and in us identifying and sharing innovative practice and in you shaping the future of FGC accreditation and the FGC Network.
Promoting quality - developing a framework for accrediting family group conference services
We successfully obtained funding from the Department for Education to drive consistent quality standards across family group conference services by developing, trialling and now rolling out a framework for the accreditation of family group conference services.
Senior local authority managers and commissioners, judges and lawyers, social workers and family members, and FGC co-ordinators were invited to attend a free challenge event on 8th February in London to examine draft proposals for the accreditation of family group conference service. We subsequently amended the proposals to reflect feedback, and the accreditation framework was then trialled with 15 FGC services. It was independently evaluated by Dr Louise Brown (University of Bath).
Our standards and accreditation page sets out in greater detail the aims of the project, timescales, the evaluation report and opportunities for getting involved.
New DVD – ‘Why I had an FGC’ aimed at older children, November 2011
Camden Family Group Conference Services have launched a new DVD specifically for older young people. It introduces them to a family group conference and how it could improve their lives. The film is the result of a collaboration between the service, professionals and young people. The result is a bright animated short film featuring the stories of young people whose decision to have a family group conference had beneficial results.
Family Justice Review report, 3rd November 2011
Family Rights Group welcomes the Family Justice Review report recommendations that “the benefits of family group conferences should be more widely recognised and their use should be considered before proceedings.” However, we are disappointed, that the Review stated “more research is needed on how they can best be used, their benefits and costs”, when family group conferences have been subject to considerably more research than statutory child protection processes. Clearly further research evidence is always welcome, but we will continue to press that all families are offered a family group conference prior to a child entering the care system (except in an emergency) because it is in the child’s best interest for families to be given the responsibility and support to come up with plans which allow the children to live safely and securely within their family network safely, wherever feasible. Our press release also addresses other aspects of the Review’s recommendations. We have previously given oral and written evidence to the Review and participated in a small seminar with the Review team.
Many thanks to all the FGC practitioners and managers who contributed to this updated document. Written for Courts, Lawyers, CAFCASS and CAFCASS CYMRU officers and Child Care Practitioners, this ground breaking guide was written in consultation with CAFCASS and the Family Group Conference Network and endorsed by the Family Justice Council. We hope you will find it helpful and welcome feedback.
A cost-effective way of keeping children safe - why and how to deliver family group conferences - read the reports and presentations
Over 130 people turned out to the sell out conference organised by ourselves and the Office of Public Management, which explored how to increase the use of family group conferences to safeguard children within their families and avoid unnecessary, costly care proceedings. Speakers included Government Minister Tim Loughton MP, children and parents who had experienced a family group conference, as well as key senior legal and social care professionals.
The conference discussion paper and presentations:
Discussion paper on key emerging themes from family group conferences including a report back from the 12 regional events.