Welcome - European Network on Family Group Conference

Democratizing help and welfare in Europe
Thao’s story

Thao is an eleven years old girl. Her parents are origin Vietnamese. As I met her for the preparations for the FGC, I was impressed, how intelligent she was forher age. She was born in Germany, growed up here and is going to school. She is open minded, liberal and kind.

Unfortunately the scool reported, that she often comes to school and is neglected. The parents had another point of view and they weren’t cooperative with the school.

One day the situation escalated when Thao`s father beat her because she talked to him, in his opinion, in an unrespectful way. So she escaped from home to her aunt, the sister of her dad. That aunt is open minded and well integrated in the German society.

The youth care takers initiated an FGC to make sure, where Thao can live in the future and be safe from physical and mental violence. In the preparations of the FGC I’ve seen a huge difference between the father of Thao and his sister, Thao escaped to. While the auntist open minded and liberal, her brother ist still living completely the vietnamese traditions. This caused many problems between Thao and her father that escalated in the discribed way.

Thao’s dad was not willing to talk with me about the FGC and blocked every try to get in contact with him. So I looked after someone, that he has a good contact to within the familiar surroundings to explain him, what is the goal of the FGC. I found a person and thisone talked to the father about FGC and the great opportunity, to make a own plan for his daughter and her future and make own decisions.

So he finally made the decision, to take part of the FGC. Not everyone was pleased to take part of the FGC because there were many hidden conflicts from the past in this family that were never been talked about or solved.

But in the end, there were many people taking part in the FGC to support Thao, even her parents. They were getting together for Thao and forgot for a while about there own differences with each other and made decisions for Thao’s future in relation to where she could live, financial and health issues and about her future recreational activities.

The wish of Thao, to live with her aunt, was respected and accepted.They also made agreements of how to stay in contact with Thao’s mother and, eventually later, with her father. Even though the preparations were difficult, it is always a pleasure to see, how families take responsibility about there issues, come together even in difficult situations and make great planes, each one of them can accept and handle.


A story from Germany

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