Family Led Decision Making
A family group conference is a process led by family members to make decisions about a plan to care for a child, young person or other vulnerable family member who is at risk. Children and young people are usually participants at the conference, sometimes with the support of an advocate. It is a process that can get better outcomes than decision making led by authorities such as child protection as it taps into the resources of the entire extended family and wider network of professionals and friends who are able to assist.
What is the definition of family in a family group conference?
Who is considered family and who should be at a conference are things negotiated by the facilitator with the family. It might extend to family friends who are honorary aunties and uncles and extended family. A cousin may attend as a support person for a young person. In some cases some members of the family may not be invited either due to a requirement that they are excluded by a child safety authority or by other family members.
The facilitator will work with the family to help them decide who should be there, meet with all participants to explain the process, what the purpose is, the guiding questions and anything else they need to know to prepare for the day. Find out more about training to become a Family Group Conference Facilitator. Family Group Conference Facilitator Training