Family Group Conferences and safeguarding children

Journal article citation:
Seen and Heard, 26(3), 2016, pp.38-53.
Place of publication:

Family Group Conferences (FGCs) originated in New Zealand in the late 1980s in response to the disproportionate number of Maori children involved in child protection processes at that time. They were introduced into the UK in the early 1990s and are now used in 140 local authorities to plan for the care and protection of children and young people. FGCs are widely recognised as being good practice in engaging with children and their families; the underlying principles of the model being consisetent with the key principles of the Children Act 1989. FGCs are not legislated for in the UK and they are not a mandatory part of child-protection processes. However, their use is recommended at the pre-processing stage and they are highlighted in the Munro review 2012 as an example of good practice. Despite this, FGC services remain on the margins of child protection practice. This paper outlines the current use of FGCs in child protection practice in the UK, making reference to the current legislative and policy context. It draws together evidence based research to demonstrate the positve impact that FGCs can have on outcomes for childre and their families. It concludes with recommendations for FGCs to become a mandatory feature of child protection policy and practice. (Publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
family group conferences, safeguarding children, child protection, law, policy, evidence-based practice, families, outcomes, intervention;
Content type:
practice example
United Kingdom
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