The Gironde Departmental Council, Bordeaux, France organised with its partners Family Rights Group from the United Kingdom, Tulip Foundation from Bulgaria and City of Stuttgart, Germany, a workshop dedicated to the European Week of Regions and Cities on the theme: "A social innovation: the Family group conferencing method (FGC)". It took place on 8 October at the Representation of the Nouvelle Aquitaine Region in Brussels.
FGC is a method of supporting families and people who have experienced social difficulties. This innovative approach promotes the active participation of families (empowerment) and their environment as a resource for the development and decision of a co-constructed action plan to solve their problem. It is especially effective in limiting the placement of children in care. It is used in many fields regardless of the problem - intra-family relations, child protection, disability, old age, difficulties in school, housing, social and professional integration... The concrete results of an ERASMUS + project on the family group conferencing including four countries with different cultures and social systems.
JeanLuc Gleyze, President of Gironde County Council opened the forum. Clélia Phiquepal from Direction des Interventions et du Développement Social presented the project.
Sean Haresnape from Family Rights Group spoke about the values and the principles of FGC method. He then presented the application of the model in the UK and the Lifelong Links programme for young people leaving institutions.
Maria Petkova from Tulip Foundation talked about the universality of the method including the various fields of application and type of users of FGC. The second part of her presentation was about the application of FGC in Bulgaria and especially with Roma families.
Heike Hoer from the City of Stuttgart made a presentation about the FGC method from a social work perspective and its application in Stuttgart and in Germany.
A number of special guests presented their organisations and policies - Irene Bertana from COFACE Families Europe, Axelle Devaux from RAND Europe and the online European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC), Maria-Anna Paraskeva from the European commission.