• September 2010
  • Vol. 11, No. 7

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FGDM Guidelines From American Humane

American Humane Association and the Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) Guidelines Committee have released Guidelines for Family Group Decision Making in Child Welfare, a publication intended to increase understanding of FGDM and to encourage FGDM's integration throughout the child welfare system. FGDM refers to the practice of inviting family members of a child or youth involved in the child welfare system to participate fully in meetings and collaborate on case plans regarding a child's safety, permanency, and well-being. 

The new guidelines explain what FGDM is and the potential FGDM has to improve outcomes for children and families. The main topics of the guidelines include:

  • The FGDM coordinator
    • The role played in preparing for and guiding the family meeting
    • The relationship with child welfare practice improvements
    • Desired qualifications of the coordinator and the recruitment process
  • Referral to FGDM
    • Criteria for referral to FGDM
    • Role of the referring worker during the process
    • The types of information gathered for the referral
    • Timelines of referral and its acceptance
  • Preparation
    • Identifying family group members to invite
    • Properly preparing family group members and children
    • Preparing the referring worker and members of the child welfare team
    • Scheduling the meeting
  • Family meetings
    • Determining participants in meetings and maintaining balance between all attending
    • Steps taken in the actual family meeting
    • Implementing private family time during the meeting
  • Follow-up after family meetings
    • Writing and distribution of the plan
    • Monitoring and evaluating the plan progress
  • Administrative support
    • Training, education, and staff development
    • Organizational policies and functions


Visit American Humane's website to download the publication:

www.americanhumane.org/assets/docs/protecting-children/PC-fgdm-guidelines.pdf
(1,039 KB)

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