We are all born and live in families. Every family is unique with its own culture, personalities, individual dynamics and history. Every family goes through difficulties and problems every now and then. There are difficult situations related with children, youth, parents, older people in the family which might be sorted out easily with the support of relatives and friends. There are also cases when some help from health specialists, educational institutions, social services or other agencies could be necessary.
The Family group conference is a way to find out solutions to various problems when children, parents, members of the extended family, friends come together to make a plan. It is based on an old traditional and easy to understand concept – the power of the family circle. The family conference provides an opportunity chance for the family to get together, mobilize its own strengths and resources and to make the best possible plan to overcome the problems of a child or another member of the family. The members of the family take the decisions and the responsibilities. The professional do not decide – they provide the necessary information, support and services.
Tulip Foundation laid the fundament for the application of the method Family Group conference in Bulgaria in 2011 with the Trust in the Family Programme with partnership of Eigen Kracht Centrale. Tulip Foundation is an active member of the EU FGC network.
This autumn the annual FGC network meeting took place in Prague from 4 to 6 October. It was organised by Asociace rodinných konferencí and hosted by the Municipality of Prague. Some 50 representatives of more than 20 organisations from around Europe got together in Prague for 3 days for the annual meeting of the EU FGC network. Colleagues from Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, England, Scotland and Wales, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Germany etc. participated in the event.
From 4 to 6 October they shared information from their countries about recent developments, challenges and achievements, researches and new practices. A lot of questions were raised and the discussions were very interesting. The “open space” time of the meeting included presentations and discussions about:
- Lifelong links – finding connections for children in care
- Training standards for coordinators
- Presence / participation of children
- Preparation of children and youth
- Communication tools for FGC
- FGC and domestic violence
- FGC in schools and other issues.