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Need help and advice

If your family is involved with children's services, or you need help from these services, our interactive web-pages will give you the information you need.

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Blogs and Vlogs

Families' voices and opinions are at the heart of our media. Our blogs and vlogs page features articles and videos by parents, kinship carers and other professionals on subjects of child welfare and more.

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Policy and Campaigns

Read about the Care Crisis Review, our kinship care campaigns, our policy work and download our press releases.

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Supporters Network

By joining the Family Rights Group Supporters’ Network, you agree to make a donation, no matter how big or small, which will make a crucial contribution to our work.

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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.

Please complete the survey here.


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.

Watch it here.

Or purchase it from our on-line shop.


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.

UPDATED GUIDE: Using Family Group Conferences for children who are, or may become, subject to public law proceedings, Oct 2011.

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.

Cathy Ashley, FRG Chief Executive's presentation on the current state of play of family group conferences including cost efficiency data on family group conferences.

Judge Plumstead's presentation on FGCs - the Judicial Perspective.

Paul Nixon, Director of Restorative Practices for Hull's presentation on family group conferences: a luxury or a necessity in addressing child welfare? The perspective within local authorities.

Linda Colbeck, FGC Manager, presentation on Bradford's new family group conference service.

Dawn Walsh, FGC Manager, presentation on Kent's family group conference service.

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Telephone Advice Line

If you are a parent, family member or friend of a child, in England or Wales, who has social workers involved in your child’s life, or if you need extra support from Children’s Services, and would like to speak to an adviser, please call our free and confidential helpline.

0808 801 0366 

(Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3pm)

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Discussion Boards

For advice from our advisers, or to get online support from other people in a similar position to you, visit the parents or family and friends carers forums.  To explore new research and to discuss ideas with practitioners and families, visit the FGC Network  or the Your Family, Your Voice Alliance Boards. If you are a domestic violence worker or social worker in London, visit our new research and practice  board.

 

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FAQs

We have answered the most commonly asked questions put to FRG advisers. Please follow the links to see a list of questions and answers, grouped together by subject.

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Advice Sheets

For more detailed information, please see our range of advice sheets on family support, child protection, looked after children, family and friends care, adoption or challenging decisions.

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Films

Family Rights Group has produced films for families to help ‘demystify’ the child welfare system.

Go to the relevant films to view fictionalised cases which show what happens when a child protection conference is held and similarly when a family group conference takes place.

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Advice during the Coronavirus Crisis

Top tips guide for kinship carers to help children maintain relationships

This top tips guide is intended to support kinship carers to help children to safely maintain a relationship with those who are important to them, including their parents, brothers, sisters and friends, even if they cannot visit them.

Advice guide for parents and families with a child in the care system

In this guide, we have set out some creative ways in which relationships can be maintained and you can support your child during the Coronavirus crisis, even if you cannot visit them.

The grandparents caring for children during coronavirus outbreak

Please watch this very moving four minute report from Channel 4 News about the effect of the coronavirus outbreak on grandparents raising their grandchildren. Also features our Chief Executive, Cathy Ashley. For huge numbers of grandparents, keeping away from their grandchildren is simply not an option. Around a hundred thousand children in the UK are being brought up by grandparents because their parents have died or are unable to care for them. Now those carers, who are often elderly and with underlying conditions, must try to protect themselves from infection.

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