Source: Essex County Council Social Services.

As stated at the beginning of this document, family group conferencing (FGC) is a new way of working with families. The development of FGCs has been in part a response to the need to provide more effective services to children, young people, and their families. It is based on the perspectives that families can usually find their own solutions to family problems, and that children and young people have a right to have their families involved in planning for their future. A family group conference is a process, not a one-time meeting. Hence, the use of FGCs will affect all areas of practice, and the principles of FGCs will need to be applied broadly. This guide from Essex Social Services (Essex County Council, United Kingdom) covers the general philosophy and background to FGCs, key elements of a conference, roles and responsibilities of participants, and the actual process of a conference.