Family Group Conferencing Service

The Family Group Conferencing Service (FGC) empowers families to come together to make a plan to resolve challenges and difficulties they’re facing.

See the Southwark FGC pamphlet: Information for families, relatives and friends (PDF, 1.4mb) for more information.

What is a family group conference?

A FGC is a meeting for a child(ren) or young person, their family, friends and people who are important to them. It’s a safe place where everyone can talk though concerns that have been raised and then come up with a plan to make things better.

FGCs originate from New Zealand and are based on the idea of ‘hui’ - the Maori meaning for a meeting where a collective approach is taken to resolving issues. ‘Hui’ is the traditional form of decision-making in Maori tribal culture. At its heart is the idea that a child is not just raised by their parent/s but by their entire tribe.

More background information on FGCs can be found on the Family Rights Group website.

When can a FGC be useful?

We believe that families know themselves best. A FGC can be help in almost any situation where a plan or a decision needs to be made for children or a young person, to resolve concerns and/or improve safety.   

Some examples are:

  • making plans together for children with special education needs and disabilities
  • to support families to have a voice and make plans when family support and children’s safeguarding service  is involved
  • address challenges caused by separation or divorce
  • helping relatives to care for children and young people
  • reducing antisocial behaviour from young people
  • support a parent with a mental or physical disability
  • consolidate support available for child(ren), young people and their parents from within their own networks
  • supporting young carers and their families


Unfortunately you can not self-refer to this service. Please speak to your child’s allocated social worker or other professional you're working with.

Write to us at:

Family Group Conference Service
Southwark Children’s Services
PO Box 64529


Tel: 0207 525 5000


The service offers Family Group Conferences (FGC) to children and families. Meetings are organised by an Independent FGC co-ordinator who is matched to meet the needs of the family. The meetings offer families opportunities to make plans for their children.

  • open: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm

Page last updated: 12 November 2019


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