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Families: Advisory Services

Volume 502: debated on Tuesday 8 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what criteria local authorities use to determine whether families should be referred to family group conferences. (304154)

It is for local authorities to determine what services to provide for families in their area and on what basis they should be offered in line with the relevant statutory framework. They will set their own criteria to determine whether families should be referred to a family group conference service (FGC). As part of their wider approach to supporting families to stay together, some local authorities have made it mandatory that an FGC is offered to the family before a child enters care or as soon as possible afterwards in the case of an emergency placement. Others have developed key trigger points within a local authority’s involvement with a family where a decision about the child is required.