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Do you need to speak to an adviser?

Family Rights Group runs a free, independent and confidential advice service. We advise families when they are involved with children’s services or need their help. We provide advice for parents, grandparents, relatives and friends including kinship carers in England. Our expert advisers are all experienced lawyers, social workers or family rights advocates. They help families to understand the law and child welfare processes and their rights and options. And to better understand social work concerns.

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If you would like to speak to an adviser, please call our free and confidential advice line 0808 801 0366. Our telephone advice line is opened Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 3pm (excluding Bank Holidays). For Textphone dial 18001 followed by the advice line number.

Discuss on our forums

You can also sign up and post your questions on our Parents’ Advice Forum or Kinship Carers’ Advice Forum.

Advice on our website

Our get help and advice section of our website. It describes the processes that you and your family are likely to go through, so that you know what to expect. Clearly explains the law so that you know what your rights are, and provides you with practical advice and support.

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FGC Research and Briefings

Family group conferences originated in New Zealand in 1989 and are grounded in the Maori culture. Since its inception there has been interest from academics and researchers into the family group conference model, many seeing it as a significant shift in practice worthy of detailed study. Family group conferences are now used in approximately 30 countries worldwide and in at least 22 countries in Europe. As their use has spread they have been subject to considerable academic scrutiny and over the last two decades a substantial body of research has grown both in the UK and worldwide.

Some useful studies to consider in the first instance are:

Family Group Conferences and Contextual Safeguarding briefing

This briefing has been jointly drawn up by Family Rights Group and the University of Bedfordshire. It considers how family group conferences (FGCs), informed by Contextual Safeguarding, can be utilised within children’s safeguarding as a response to extra-familial harm. The briefing is divided into three sections. Section one summarises the two approaches. The second section reflects on current knowledge of the crossovers between the two approaches and what we are yet to understand. The final section presents a case study and makes recommendations for how the two approaches can work together in the future, including questions for further development. (August 2021)


For an analysis exploring how the perspectives and experiences of different family group conference participants influences the outcomes of family group conferences

Reimagining child welfare outcomes: learning from Family Group Conferencing Child and Family Social Work

Mary Mitchell Dr (2019)
The School of Social and Political Science, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK


Contributors address the use of family group conferences in different circumstances, including child welfare, education, domestic violence and youth justice from a research, policy and practice perspective

Family Group Conferences – Where Next? Policies and Practices for the Future

Cathy Ashley, Paul Nixon (2007). Family Rights Group

Not available to download as an eBook. However, individual chapters are available on request to

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