Here are some recent examples of where the Family Group Conference has been used to improve the lives of children, young people and their families.
Case study one
As a result of violence he showed to his mother, the parents of a 16-year-old Asperger's sufferer asked for him to be accommodated by the council. The Family Group Conference was used to see if this was the best solution or whether he could return home. After the plan was implemented, he returned home and we take no more action so long as the plan is followed.
Case study two
After the unexpected death of her mother, three different people asked for her 16-year-old daughter to live with them but none had parental responsibility for her. She stayed with her maternal grandmother until the decision was made at a conference that she live with her father (who would apply for permanent residency) in her family home (previously lived in by her mother).
These are some of the comments from children, young people and others who have taken part in Family Group Conferences.
A 10 year old told us: "It was good just hearing that other people feel the same way as me".
According to another 11 year old the good thing about the conference was: "being able to talk about how I feel".
And a 13 year old told us: "I heard how my family felt".
One mother told us: "The family came together on neutral ground and had a discussion without confrontation" whilst a father said: "It was useful to hear other people say things to me which I needed. In another environment it might have got my back up". And a grandmother fed back that: "We felt as though we were in the driving seat and have been given an opportunity to have our say".
A social worker involved in a Family Group Conference reported that: "it was a very positive meeting; the family commented how useful it was to them" whilst a Family Group Conference worker said: "I felt we liaised very well together, which was key to getting the end result, which I believe we achieved".
And finally these word of thanks came to us from a foster care team manager: "this is to express our appreciation for the Family Group Conference (FGC) coordinators hard work inside and outside the FGC for this family. We are delighted with both the process and outcome".