Blue Horizon Counselling members were selected to be on the panel for Family Group Conferencing (FGC) for Family and Community Services (FACS). FGC is an established methodology used in a number of countries around the world to ensure child protection is available to those at risk. It’s unique whole of family approach, including children above the age of four, has been found to be highly effective. The effectiveness is achieved through family participation and ownership of the decision making process. At this point in time FGC is only available when requested by FACS. If you know a child at risk, contact the relevant authorities.

What is a Family Group Conference?

Family Group Conferencing (FGC) is a voluntary, inclusive and restorative approach to decision-making, especially for disputes and issues relating to or involving young children. It involves family members coming together with a professional to make significant decisions for one of their own. FGC promotes respectful and strength based engagement with family members and vulnerable persons in planning to meet what is in the best interests of the person. FGC invites extended family members to take a lead role in making decisions for the benefit of, and where necessary, attending to any harm experienced by ‘one of their own.’

A Family Group Conference is a process where family members and their supports (e.g. friend, advocate, etc):

1. Convene a meeting between extended family, supports and professionals

2. Share concerns and needs

3. Explore solutions and supports

4. Make decisions and develop a plan of support

5. Appoint a ‘key worker’

6. Agree how they will review their plan

7. Review Meeting

What happens during Family Group Conferencing?

Basically, by coming together with a professional mediator such as our team members here at Blue Horizon Counselling and Mediation, you will go through four key stages toward a solution.

  1. Preparation stage
  2. Information sharing stage
  3. Family private time
  4. Present the family plan

By the time the family plan is presented, a solid resolution and plan has been agreed to and taken shape for your family.

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