This August 26-27 the CDR will provide virtual training in facilitating Family Group Conferences (FGCs) for the Office of Dispute Resolution and Family Court Programs in the 7th Judicial Circuit. The training, led by CDR Director Dr. Charlene Berquist, will explore how FGCs can be used by schools, social service agencies, and others to benefit youth and families. The training will prepare participants to facilitate FGCs for families referred by the Clay County Family Court. View a training flyer here.
What Are Family Group Conferences (FGCs)
FGCs are family-led meetings in which family, friends, and other supportive people in the lives of a family or youth come together to make a plan to address difficulties or challenges faced by the family or youth. The FGC is supported by an independent facilitator, who helps the family prepare for the FGC and guides the conference. In an FGC, families are empowered to express needs, verbalize concerns, identify resources, and create their own robust plans to support the family or youth in managing challenges, which may include truancy, behavioral issues, academic concerns, parent engagement, etc. Outside agencies (such as the school system, juvenile office, etc.) may provide information on things that the family should address in their plan, but the family decides the best way to support the family or youth in achieving their goals.
About the FREE Training
This training is free for participants who are interested in co-facilitating FGCs for families referred by the Clay County Family Court. For more information on Clay County’s FGC program and facilitation compensation, please email email@example.com. To register for this training visit https://bit.ly/36FNIpa.
This training will cover the following:
- the philosophical underpinning of the FGC model;
- the goals and benefits of the process;
- appropriate behaviors, role, and responsibilities for a facilitator;
- strategies for building strong family support networks;
- how to prepare family members for an FGC; and
- how to effectively coordinate an FGC meeting.
The CDR and Family Group Conferencing
Family Group Conferencing is a flexible process that can be used in a variety of contexts, and the CDR has a long history of providing FGC services and training.
In the Regional Partnership Grant (RPG) program, the CDR trained and coordinated volunteer facilitators who provided FGC services for parents receiving substance abuse treatment through Alternative Opportunities, Inc.. In these FGCs, families developed plans to support the parent(s) in recovery and ensure the safety and well-being of the children involved.
As part of a Title II grant, the CDR prepared and supported volunteer facilitators who provided FGCs for at-risk girls and young women referred by the Greene County Juvenile Office. In these FGCs, families focused on developing plans to address each youth’s behavior or difficulties (including juvenile offending, status offenses, truancy, relationship issues, etc.). The FGCs also addressed concerns identified by the Juvenile Office, school, family, and youth.
In addition to providing Family Group Conferencing as a part of its community programming, the CDR also has an extensive history of offering customized training in facilitating FGCs for child welfare organizations, community groups, and others. Past training clients have included Great Circle, the Omaha Tribe Peacemaker Project, the Healthy Families Taskforce, and the Office of Dispute Resolution and Family Court Programs in the 7th Judicial Circuit.
For more information on the CDR’s customized training in Family Group Conferencing visit https://www.missouristate.edu/CDR/Customized-Training.htm or email CDR Director Dr. Charlene Berquist at CDR@MissouriState.edu