Family Group Meeting Convenor Handbook

This handbook is for new and experienced family group meeting convenors or any other delegated officers who have been asked to facilitate a family group meeting. From 1 July 2016, the department began transitioning from family group meetings to the Collaborative Family Decision Making (CDFM) program. This handbook will assist family group meeting convenors to understand the transition to CFDM and what the transition aims to achieve.

The handbook will also assist convenors to understand and apply best practice procedures for preparing and facilitating a family group meeting, along with the values and principles that underpin this process. It will also help them develop and record case plans in accordance with the SMART principles to meet the care and protection needs of the child.

The handbook also contains cultural considerations to ensure that the processes are culturally responsive to the needs of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse families.

Family group meetings are a legislated requirement for children once a decision has been made to provide ongoing intervention and are a formal forum for consultation with a child and their family. They are an important component of the framework for ongoing intervention, involving and engaging families in the decision making in each phase of the child protection continuum.

As the CFDM program evolves, CFDM tools, resources and practice approaches will be developed in conjunction with regional staff, and an amended version of this handbook will be developed in the future.