Camdens first FGC
Nearly twenty years ago, Teresa held a meeting that was the first of its kind in Camden. The family were recently bereaved, the five boys lost their dad. Teresa is a family worker for Camden and was called to address the anti-social behaviour that four of the siblings were wreaking on their estate. She wanted to use FGC to address the family and community’s concerns. The young people were angry, at a loss after their father’s death; they did graffiti, broke locks and pushed stuff off the roof. Teresa went to their mother and asked if she wanted support from Camden. In partnership with the caretakers from the estate, they showed the boys how the caretakers routine had changed to accommodate all the new damage, washing the paint off and fixing the locks. The siblings learnt what the damage really meant, the effect it was having on real people. Teresa described the activity as ‘eye-opening’ for them. Together, the children went around with the caretakers and helped with the mess. While they cleaned, their neighbours greeted them and they found that as they repaired the estate, they also repaired their relationship with their community. Teresa was proud of the young people for all their enthusiasm and hard work; she could see how this could be helping mend their self-esteem. After the FGC, the young people were no longer involved with social services, they moved from that estate, but Teresa kept up with them over the years, pleased to hear that the FGC worked for them. From the first to the latest, Family Group Conference’s have let people find their own way back to their community.
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