‘Families know themselves best’- Family Group Conference Team launches in Sefton

20 June 2023 3min read

Professionals from across Sefton gathered last week to launch the Family Group Conferencing team that will benefit children and young people by empowering families to find their strengths

Empowerment, mutual respect and valuing difference are the key values of the  new family-led team.

Family Led

Family Group Conferencing will help families develop their own plans for children and make their own decisions. The team will work with the social worker and the family to identify support networks and enable the family to come up with their own plan.

Family Group Conferences will help children, young people and families determine exactly who they can rely on for support. They will also help bring families that have drifted apart back together in a safe, focused and controlled space.

"Turning point in my life"

At the launch, over 100 professionals gathered to learn about Sefton’s Family Group Conference approach. Representatives from the health, education and the voluntary sectors listened to the story of one young mother who described Family Group Conference as a ‘turning point’ in her life. She said that for the first time, it made her that she was in control of her and her babies’ futures. And she said she realised that her family respected her decisions and was willing to support her to make it work.

The team is part of a wider drive to strengthen Children’s Services in Sefton and focus on family-led decision making as part of its partnership with Leeds City Council and their Strengthening Families Programme.

Big commitment

Mhairi Doyle, Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care said: “The launch of the Family Group Conferencing team marks a big commitment here in Sefton to family-led decision making and empowering families to be their own solution.

“The story shared by a young mum at the launch showcased just how rewarding this approach can be, not only for the child but also for the parents and wider family who feel they are given the tools to solve their own problems.

“It was fantastic to see so many partners attend this event. We all know that families know themselves best and we want professionals in Sefton to take this family led approach in the work they do with our children, young people and families.”

You can use this link to find out more about Sefton Council's Children's Services

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