Back to RJ Archive

What is FGDM? Putting Families Back into the Child Protection Partnership: Family Group Decision Making.

Merkel-Holguin, Lisa
June 4, 2015

Source: (-0001) Englewood, Colorado: National Center on Family Group Decision Making, American Humane. Downloaded 1 December 2005.

Family group decision making (FGDM) offers a new approach to
working with families involved with the child welfare system.
Families are engaged and empowered by child welfare
agencies to make decisions and develop plans that protect and
nurture their children from enduring further abuse and neglect.
The FGDM process inherently fosters cooperation,
collaboration, and communication between professionals and
families. FGDM is primarily being used by child welfare
agencies when children have been substantiated as maltreated.
This practice, while not as commonplace, is also being used in
juvenile justice and TANF cases.
The emerging trend in many U.S. communities is to incorporate
elements of the family unity model into the family group
conferencing approach. A unique aspect of the Family Unity
model is the structured time during the information sharing
stage of the family meeting for a facilitated discussion of family
strengths and concerns. The differentiating element of the
Family Group Conference is the provision of private time
whereby only family consider the information presented,
deliberate, and make decisions that are then presented back to
the professionals and other Conference attendees for
discussion and approval. When communities blend these
elements, a typical term for this FGDM approach is family
decision meetings. (excerpt)


AbstractConferencesFamiliesManualPoliceRJ and Community DisputesRJ OfficeTeachers and Students
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now