Family Group Conference Service

Family Group Conference Service Decommissioning Proposals

In South Gloucestershire we now we use a Signs of Safety strengths-based approach to working with children and families. As part of this approach, we engage with the whole family at the earliest stage. This involves SGC practitioners convening family meetings with the families support network to devise support and safety plans in order for children to remain within their family.

The expectation that now by using this modal that practitioners are holding family meetings as part of their standard practice with children and families, and although these meetings are not following the Family Group Conferencing model exactly, they are very much a kin to that approach.

As a Local Authority we have invested in specific training in this area (Family Finding skills) to equip staff to ask questions to find family networks and connected people. Staff are trained to facilitate family network meetings and use these networks when planning the safety and wellbeing of a child or young person.

It is proposed that funds from a potential decommission of the Family Group Conference Service would be used to invest in training additional SGC staff in the delivery of the signs and safety practice model including family finding and family network meeting.

Any child or family involved with the current Family Group Conference would not be left without a service as the children & young people will already be receiving assistance from SGC’s social work teams.

How to find out more and have your say

You can read the consultation proposals here

You  can read the Initial Equalities Analysis Assessment here

The consultation is open for 8 weeks from 4th January 2021 until 1st March 2021

We are interested in hearing views on:

  • The benefits or drawbacks of bringing a family safety meeting in-house rather than commissioning an external provider.

There are a range of ways to take part:

  •  complete our online survey here , or print out a copy of the paper survey by clicking here
  • You can pick up a paper survey from your local library or One Stop Shop, which can be posted back to us at the address below. Or you can ask the library for a Freepost envelope to return the survey without the need for a stamp.
  • Telephone: 01454 863297
  • Email:
  • Write to: South Gloucestershire Council, Corporate Research & Consultation Team, Council offices, Badminton Road, Yate, BRISTOL, BS37 5AF