Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) recognizes the importance of involving families in the process of making decisions regarding the safety, care, and protection of children within the family system. The process of FGDM brings together family members, the children (when appropriate), service providers, and other community support people to create a plan to safeguard children and other family members. This program is offered to families at no charge.
A trained, neutral facilitator (who is independent of the case) helps organize the meeting and guide the group through the FGDM process. The family takes the lead in decision-making, and the service providers help support the family’s plan to address their concerns. In FGDM, the collaboration and leadership of family groups is key to creating and implementing plans that support the safety, permanency and well-being of children.
What kinds of family decisions are discussed in FGDM?
There can be many different purposes for holding a FGDM meeting. However, the main goal is to support the safety, permanency, and well-being of children. Examples of FGDM goals may include developing a family plan to:
- Help children remain in the home, decrease unruly behavior, improve grades and improve the relationship between the children and parents.
- Help keep the teen sober upon return from treatment.
- Identify family respite care options for the children and support for Mom.
- Assist Mom, who suffers from mental health issues, to keep the home safe for the children.
- Keep the child out of the middle of the parent’s conflict and divorce.
- Support the child in gaining improved health (based on their dietary needs due to a rare disease).
- Support Mom and/or Dad as the children are reunified with her/him following foster care.
Who can refer my family for a FGDM meeting?
A family can be referred to The Village Family Service Center for a FGDM meeting from a variety of sources. Many referrals come from service providers, such as child protection or foster care social workers, counselors, teachers, or other agency service providers. In addition, referrals can also be made by family members, friends, or the parents of the children (called a self-referral).
If a service provider thinks a FGDM meeting would benefit a family, he/she will talk to the parents about the possibility of scheduling a FGDM meeting before the referral to ensure it is something in which the family is interested. FGDM meetings are voluntary, so it is up to the family and other support people to choose whether or not they will participate.
For more information or to make a referral, contact The Village Family Service Center at 1-800-627-8220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.