Course contents

Continuing education course Family Group Conference
  • The origins of Family Group Conference (FGC) and its history in Europe
  • Fundamental principles and situations in which they are used
  • Preparation, implementation and the stages of a FGC
  • The roles of FGC participants
  • Formulating concerns
  • Devising a plan
  • The personality of the coordinator
  • Ground rules of communication
  • Mobilising networks
  • The significance of children in FGC
  • The opportunity for child protection procedures in FGC
  • The future of FGC
  • Supervised coordination of a FGC
  • Reflection and evaluation

The fundamental principles of family group conference

  • Families have the opportunity to directly address their problems and create an individual plan which meets their specific needs. The responsibility lies primarily with the family.
  • The plan should contain concrete, feasible solutions that everyone can agree on.
  • The aim is not to find scapegoats or go over the past, but to find solutions for the future. 
  • The social work professionals involved trust the family to independently improve their current situation and accept the family’s plan, unless the plan is too uncertain or puts a minor at risk.
  • Preparations for the FGC are made with the help of independent coordinators. Coordinators do not propose any solutions and do not put forward the ideas of other experts. The task of the coordinator is to provide the family with organisational support at every step of the process. 
  • Coordinators highlight options, but are not involved in making decisions.
  • Children take part in FGCs so they can have their say and listen to the contributions of other participants as the purpose of an FGC is to ultimately make decisions about children’s futures. Children normally have someone to help them make their contribution throughout the process. Children cannot be forced to participate.