“It’s about listening to families and helping them to put the needs of their children first.”
CANW’s Family Group Conferences (FGC) help bring families together. We talk to families and provide support so they can address any problems they have, from social issues and financial concerns to relationship breakdowns, all of which impact on young people.
Our staff meet with all kinds of families – from those where a problem has recently been identified to those who’ve reached crisis point. Working with the wider family group – from grandparents to aunts, uncles and family friends, we help to safeguard children and ensure their needs come first – building a family unit that’s strong, supportive and caring.
The young people in the family are central to the FGC process and are encouraged to take an active part. Our FGC Coordinators work with young people to identify their thoughts and opinions. If a young person doesn’t feel confident enough to relay their feelings in the FGC, we can provide an advocate to work with them to ensure their perspective is communicated to their family.
If you would like more information contact 01254 248061
“There was human faeces in the child’s cot and on the stairs, it was dreadful – Kerry just couldn’t cope. Getting the rest of the family involved helped her to make changes in her lifestyle and provide a good home for her four children.”
Chloe, Laura, Tom and Lewis didn’t much like being at home. Their mum and dad had split up and their mum, Kerry, was more interested in her boyfriends and smoking cannabis than keeping an eye on them.
Although the oldest was only 10 years old, the children had to fend for themselves – they had no regular bedtime, often went without food and they were living in filthy conditions.
Kerry loved her children, but without help she knew they’d be taken into care.
CANW arranged a family group conference for Kerry with her ex-partner and both their families. Realising the difficulties Kerry and her children faced, her parents and former partner agreed to become more involved in supporting them.
Things have got better for Chloe, Laura, Tom and Lewis. Their dad and their grandparents come round to see them more and make sure they have something to eat. And the house is much tidier too.
Kerry is much happier – she knows she has to take responsibility and provide the children with a good home life. Knowing she has the support of her family and CANW to do it has made a real difference.
“They didn’t understand why their parents fought all the time, it made them upset.
They can’t live with their mum or dad at the moment, but they know the help their dad is getting means one day he might be able to look after them again.”
Ben and Lucy’s parents argued all the time. Ben and Lucy were still in nursery school – too young to understand what all the shouting was about. They were confused and scared and would overhear every argument as they cried in their bedrooms. At nursery they were tired and withdrawn from the class.
They were taken into foster care and it seemed unlikely they’d be able to go home. CANW arranged a family group conference to bring Ben and Lucy’s parents and their extended families together and try to resolve their problems.
Although their mum and dad have split up, Ben and Lucy know their parents still love them. Their dad is getting help with his alcoholism and attending counselling and parenting classes. CANW makes sure he gets support from his extended family and although Ben and Lucy can’t see him as much as they’d like to they know that if he continues to get better they’ll be able to go back home one day.
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