Family group conference (FGC)
A family group conference (FGC) is a free and independent meeting between an independent coordinator and families in need of support. FGCs are often used when a child might be taken into care, to get family members to make a plan to allow the child to stay with them safely.
If you're a family who has been requested to attend a FCG, you can watch the online videos of how the conference will run and what the whole process entails – Family Rights Group website.
How to request a family group conference
If you work with families in Croydon, you can request a conference. When we receive a referral, we aim to organise a meeting within 42 days.
Social workers and early help practitioners
You can raise a service request on CRS.
Other agency partners
To make a service referral, you can contact us directly.
Family Group Conference team
Telephone: 0208 726 6000, extension 50157
Who takes part in an FGC
There are a number of different people who are involved in a family group conference.
The FGC is run by an independent coordinator who is not involved in decisions that affect the family. The coordinator helps the family plan and prepare for the meeting, and during the meeting they make sure everything runs smoothly.
The coordinator works with the family to decide which family members and friends should be invited to attend the FGC.
Professionals working with the family, such as social workers, meet the family at the start of the FGC. They also join afterwards to hear the family’s plan.
Advocates can take part to represent and support young people in the meeting. An advocate may be an independent professional or someone the young person knows, like a teacher. Adults can also choose be represented by advocates.
What an FGC can cover
FGCs can cover a wide and complex range of issues including:
- children entering or leaving care
- child abuse
- child protection plans
- public law outline (PLO) meetings
- young fathers
They are held in a comfortable setting, often with food. They're made up of 3 elements.
A professional who works closely with the family will explain:
- why the meeting is happening
- what help is available to the family
- what decisions the family needs to make and what they should discuss
The coordinator and other support workers will leave, and the family group will talk privately. They have to:
- develop a plan that addresses the concerns
- make a back-up plan
- identify the support and resources they need
- identify a family member to be in charge of monitoring progress
Explaining and agreeing
The family explains their plan to their coordinator and social workers. Usually they agree to follow it, as long as it’s safe for children and family members.
If the plan asks for extra support or resources this might have to be approved by managers first.
After the FGC
Families can choose to have a review 6 weeks after the FGC to check on their progress.
Family Group Conference
Family Group Conference Coordinator, Croydon Council, Bernard Wetherill House, 8 Mint Walk, Croydon CR0 1EA , United Kingdom