What is Family Group Decision Making (FGDM)?
Family Group Decision Making can help a child's wider family to come together to agree on a family plan to support that child, before a life-changing decision is made about their future.
Every family, at some time, needs to make big decisions about their children.
A Family Group Meeting is a way for families to come together to discuss a concern or problem which involves children or young people in the family. Family could include grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even close family friends.
The aim of the meeting is to make a plan to support that child or young person. The family choose whether or not they want to have a meeting.
The Family Group Decision Making Service is only for children and young people that Social Work Services are currently working with.
What is a family meeting for?
- To bring children's wider family together.
- To allow children and families to have a say in their care plans, and the decisions that are being made about them.
- To help families to make plans for children when there are issues or worries.
- To support the people who are looking after a child or young person.
- To make sure that children see the people who are important to them.
What does a family meeting look like?
At the meeting there will be:
- The child(ren) and family members.
- Close family friends, when appropriate.
- The meeting's independent co-ordinator.
- The child's social worker and maybe a teacher or health visitor (if suitable).
- An advocate if any family member needs one.
The meeting has three stages:
- A time for family members to hear from social work (and other professionals if suitable) about their worries, the strengths in the family, and what they are asking the family to make a plan about. This is also the time where family members can ask any questions, and find out about support and services that might be available to them.
- Private Family Time - this is the part of the meeting when the independent co-ordinator and any professionals leave, to allow family members time to talk about what they think should be in the plan.
- When the family has made the plan, they invite the independent co-ordinator and professionals back into their meeting to look at the plan, clarify any points, and ask for the plan to be agreed.
Who would I be working with?
Your family will be allocated an independent co-ordinator. It is their job to:
- Visit everyone that is coming to the meeting, explain how it will work , and gather their views.
- Help the family to arrange the time, date and venue of the meeting, and provide practical help such as organising refreshments for the meeting.
- Help the family to make sure the plan is clear, and send it out to the people who came to the meeting.
How can I contact the FGDM Team?
You can contact the team: