Family Group Conferencing

***WillisPalmer has merged with ISWA Ltd as of the 1st April 2017.

Both WillisPalmer and ISWA are long standing businesses which have collaborated extensively in the past. We hold the same core values and aim to provide services which are child focussed, quality driven and are offered at value for money to local authorities and others.

Together, we will become the largest independent social work agency in the UK, thus offering a large geographical spread, an increased pool of practitioners, wider expertise, and a development allowing for economies of scale.*** Click here to visit the WillisPalmer website

  • Family Group Conferencing

    ISWA can help Local Authorities with FGCs in the following ways:

    • Consultancy to assist with the set-up of a service.
    • Familiarisation training on a multi-agency basis prior to the launch of a FGC Service.

    Delivery of an FGC Service which has the benefits of supply by an independent provider; i.e. the perception of independence by service users, and spot purchase arrangements.

    The Model

    • Family Group Conferences (FGC) are child welfare decision-making meetings involving family members as key decision makers. FGCs can create the circumstances in which families are empowered to make a reasonable decision about a child, and may well find a way of successfully planning to look after a child who would otherwise come into care provided by the Local Authority.
    • The family orientated format, which is culturally respectful, affords a high level of service user control.
    • The emphasis is on utilising family strengths to provide a safe and effective plan for the child, in the context of historical concerns.
    • The model is highly relevant to Local Authorities seeking to find potentially effective and long term ways to address Children in Need scenarios or the Safeguarding of children.

    The Skill Base

    Family Group Conferences require a significant time commitment to set up and run and the convenor must demonstrate considerable expertise, especially in group work and family dynamics, in order to manage the meeting effectively.

    These skill and resource issues need to be taken into account to ensure an effective service. In addition, the timing of the conference is important - too early or too late can affect its success.

    Our Coordinators

    ISWA has trained, independent coordinators all of whom are social workers experienced in carrying out this delicate task. We strongly believe that FGC coordinatorsshould be experienced social workers in order to understand safeguarding, complex family dynamics and the Court process. 

    They are available for FGCs in any setting across England and Wales.