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National Center on Family Group Decision Making


​Each year there are millions of children and youth who come to the attention of child welfare, juvenile justice, school counselors/social workers, health care providers and other public/private agencies. Traditionally, many systems at best have worked only with the children and their current caregivers to resolve the concerns that brought them to the agency’s attention, and at worse, have excluded or marginalized the voices of caregivers and children. Family group decision making (FGDM)—an innovative social reform championed worldwide since the early 1990s—challenges this paradigm and practice, resulting in an inclusive and participatory process.

Join us for our next conference!
The International Conference on Innovations in Family Engagement
October 27-30, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota
 
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Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) recognizes the importance of involving family groups in decision making about children who need protection or care, and it can be initiated by service providers and/or community organizations whenever a critical decision about a child or youth is required. In FGDM processes, a trained coordinator who is independent of the case brings together the family group and the service providers to create and carry out a plan to safeguard children and other family members. FGDM processes position the family group to lead decision making, and the statutory authorities agree to support family group plans that adequately address agency concerns. The statutory authorities also organize service providers from governmental and non-governmental agencies to access resources for implementing the plans. FGDM processes are not conflict-resolution approaches, therapeutic interventions or forums for ratifying professionally crafted decisions. Rather, FGDM processes actively seek the collaboration and leadership of family groups in crafting and implementing plans that meet the child’s/youth’s needs.
 
Numerous studies (See annotated research bibliography) show the process, cost and outcome impacts of implementing FGDM. In the field of child welfare, family group decision making has been proven to safely reduce the number of children in foster care, decrease the recurrence of child abuse and neglect and keep children connected to their roots and culture, which provides stability and helps them reach their full potential. With the Kempe Center’s work to expand the scope of FGDM into other systems that serve and support children, youth and families, the knowledge of its impact will grow. 
Other Resources

The National Center’s FGDM team has extensive practice and implementation experience with  in multiple meeting models and approaches including family group conferences, family team meetings, case planning conferences, family unity meetings and youth conferences to name a few.  The team has served as supervisors, coordinators, facilitators, training and coaching masters, practitioners, and program implementers in FGDM. 

Our team has developed and provided competency-based training and technical assistance on family group decision making and other family involvement practices to multiple communities in 20 states, Washington, D.C., Canada, and England.  Our approach starts with a training needs assessment to help us design and recommend a comprehensive approach from implementation to practice development and sustainability.   

Our service array includes in-person trainings, community forums or presentations, teleconferences, webinars, technical assistance or on-the-job coaching that can occur either on-site or virtually (through Skype). We offer continuing education units (CEUs) for many of our trainings and can tailor each learning opportunity to meet the individual needs of your agency or community. We also regularly contract with communities to develop specific coaching materials and plans, new curricula based on community needs, and train-the-trainer and coach-the-coach models to enhance community capacity and sustainability. 

In order to meet the needs of adult learners, the FGDM training team incorporates into all of its curricula the use of a variety of teaching modalities, including: classroom instruction and exercises, small and large group exercises, re-enactments, and/or video-conferencing and more. Additionally, we promote the use and integration of a continuum of training evaluation techniques, where possible, to assess the quality and effectiveness of training programs.

 Click Here for Details

Click Here to Request a Training for Your Organization

 
No Place Like Home
No Place Like Home is a 3-year project of national significance funded by a Family Connections grant from the Children's Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, running from October 2011 through September 2014. This project strategically combines the assets of the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse & Neglect , Casey Family Programs  and three innovative child welfare agencies with mature family group decision making (FGDM) programs to test the effectiveness of FGDM in safely preventing children from entering or re-entering foster care when they are receiving in-home services. The project sites—Larimer County Department of Human Services , Colorado; South Dakota Department of Social Services ; and Texas Department of Family and Protective Services —have over two decades of collective experience in delivering FGDM to children and families who come to the attention of child welfare.
 
                                                   Click Here for More Information 
 
Protecting Children Journals for FGDM

Volume 18, Numbers 1&2, 2003
Volume 19, Number 4, 2005
Volume 21, Number 1, 2006
Volume 22, Number 1, 2007
Volume 23, Number 4, 2008
Volume 24, Number 4, 2009
Volume 25, Number 2, 2010 
 

Reports & Articles

Family Team Meeting (FTM): Process, Outcome, and Impact Evaluation

A Survey of International Practices, Policy & Research on Family Group Conferencing and Related Practices

Annotated Research Bibliography

The Family Conferencing  book
 


Join us for our next conference!

The International Conference on Innovations in Family Engagement

October 27-30, 2015,in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Call for Presentations to be released in January 2015

17th National Conference on FGDM and Other Family Engagement Approaches
The Kempe Center hosted the 17th Annual Conference on Differential Response in Child Welfare in Vail, Colorado on June 10-13, 2014. This year’s theme, “Reaching New Heights with Families”, focused on ascending to genuine partnership with families. We had close to 300 practitioners, supervisors, administrators, trainers, researchers, attorneys, judges and advocates in child welfare from 27 states, tribal communities, Canada, and the UK. The conference was a huge success thanks to our planning committee, presenters, panelists and engaged participants. We hope to see you in Minnesota next year!

2014 Conference Handouts

If you have any questions, please email: anita.horner@childrenscolorado.org

2014 Webinar Series on Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) and Other Family Engagement Approaches
  
Building on the success of our annual FGDM conference and to complement our training institutes, the National Center on Family Group Decision Making began its Webinar Series on FGDM and Other Family Engagement Approaches in 2007. We recognize that some practitioners, coordinators, facilitators, service providers and other interested professionals are geographically isolated, work independently in their communities, or have limited resources to enhance their knowledge and practice. The National Center's FGDM team identifies topics for the Webinar Series based on training and conference evaluations and informal dialogues with our FGDM colleagues. We welcome your participation in the 2014 Webinar Series!                                         

 

2013 - 2014 Webinar Recordings
Believe it or Not: The Interplay between Child Welfare Agency Staff Attitudes and
Knowledge about FGDM and Implementation
Thursday, December 11, 2014 2pm ET, 1pm CT, 12pm MT, 11am PT, 9am HT
Recording: https://student.gototraining.com/23m65/recording/2355378570182055936

Leading the Way: Supervisors Promoting Critical Thinking in FGDM Practice
Thursday, November 13, 2014 2pm ET, 1pm CT, 12pm MT, 11am PT, 8am HT

Recording: https://student.gototraining.com/23m65/recording/1778432933249225472
 
Family Group Decision Making: Engaging, Encouraging, and Empowering Families to Succeed
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Recording: https://student.gototraining.com/23m65/recording/6730831215584881664

Preparing Parents for Family Meetings: A Path to Increased Family Engagement

Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Recording: https://student.gototraining.com/23m65/recording/5351606025122602240

Detained Immigrant Parents Can Have a Place at the Table Too; The Parental Interest Directive
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Recording: https://student.gototraining.com/23m65/recording/9054877735283776512

Learning the Dance Steps for the Third Part of the FGDM Meeting: A Dialogue Between a Child Welfare Manager and an FGDM Coordinator
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Recording: https://student.gototraining.com/23m65/recording/7066398858418240256


Children and Young People’s Participation in Family Group Conferencing
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Recording: https://student.gototraining.com/23m65/recording/105995474005137152


The Values of Family Group Decision Making and Family Connections Practice:  The Ground We Stand On
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Recording: https://student.gototraining.com/23m65/recording/6924356248493896704


Family Team Conferencing: Activities and Findings from a Federally Funded Experimental Study in Florida
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Recording: https://student.gototraining.com/23m65/recording/1601171854942629888  


Paternal Pathways to Family Connections in FGDM

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Recording: https://student.gototraining.com/23m65/recording/6564806046408970752


Walking Our Talk: The Values of Family Group Decision Making in Action

Thursday, February 14, 2013
Recording: https://student.gototraining.com/23m65/recording/9110044622364388608