Welcome - European Network on Family Group Conference

Democratizing help and welfare in Europe
A Friday story from Sweden

There had been a report of concern from school to Child Protection Services where the school was worried about three siblings aged 8, 10 and 13 years old. The siblings had started behaving like they had never done before and had a hard time keeping up the the lessons.

Child Protection quickly came to the conclusion to not open an investigation. Instead a Family Group Conference was suggested and the family agreed to that.

The family had ended up in a crisis and was in need of support. The father of the three children is ill in cancer and is cared for att home in the final stages of life. The mother in the family had a hard time getting everyday life together. Extended family and friends had told her to ask for help if she needed but she found that hard and did not get in touch with them.

Both parents and children were positive to the idea of a Family Group Conference but father choose to not attend as he has a difficulty managing his anxiety. The extended family and friends welcomed the idea of a FGC. They wanted to help the family but did not know how.

Participants in the information sharing stage of the FGC were a social worker, a counselor from school, a counselor from the local health center as well as a doctor and a counselor from the team for advanced health care at home. Family and friends now got the chance to ask questions about the about the fathers illness, which was much appreciated.

The action plan family and friends agreed upon stated several things:

  • A joint chat room is created
  • Some of the friends are responsible for the children coming to and from activities
  • Mother is given free time once a week and then replaced at home
  • Once a week someone of friends or extended family will arrange dinner for the family
  • Mother is going to contact family support for her and the children
  • A friend who lives near the family is going to take the dog out for a walk once a day

Afterwards everyone is very positive to the concept of FGC and surprised by the fact that this service is not more widely used in Sweden.


A story from Sweden

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