Welcome - European Network on Family Group Conference

Democratizing help and welfare in Europe
Working together; who would have thought!

A Family Group Conference (FGC) was organized for Dina – who is 19 years old – and her little daughter Shana. However, at the beginning of the meeting, the tension was palpable. This mostly because of the variety of people who were present. Such as Dina’s foster mother, Dina’s biological mother, Dina’s father; who only came into the picture during the preparation period and who had last seen his daughter when she was 7 months old. Furthermore, Marco, the father of little Shana and his parents, each with their new partner. Probably the only reason the tension did not escalate right from the start, was due to the 10 other family members, friends and acquaintances who had come too. Still, the coordinator Wim was quite nervous about leaving the room for the private part of the conference.

Nonetheless, the network succeeded in creating a plan and – something nobody expected beforehand – agreements were made wherefore different people agreed to work together. For example, an order of whom called whom when Dina reported an unsafe situation was drafted. Even more, there was a whole schedule in the plan with who would intervene at what time and where, who would notify and so on. After the meeting, the faster mom of Dina told us that she remembered Wim saying: “The fact that these agreements are made in such a way where seemingly conflicting parts of Dina’s network start working together, I found very intriguing and could never thought of that myself. I really hope it works out!’. When the network was questioned four months later by the vzw, it turned out that it was precisely these agreements that had provided a great deal of peace and security. The shared responsibility and working together on ‘a future for Dina and Shana’ was something everyone wanted to participate in.


A story from Belgium

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