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New resources have been developed to help professionals from other agencies understand why children need them to take part in the Family Group Conference process, what to expect, and what their role is.
The Children's Action Plan and Youth Crime Action Plan reinforce the importance of a multi-agency approach, to address the complex and multi-faceted needs of vulnerable children and their families.
One of the ways this happens is through the Family Group Conference, which goes to the heart of Child, Youth and Family's work. The conference is all about bringing together whānau and others, to work out the best way for kids to be safe and well cared for. They're a way of involving everyone in a conversation about things that are working well, things that aren't so good, and the things that need to change.
Partner agencies - like health, education, police, Iwi providers and NGOs - are likely to have information about the child, young person or their family, or know about the services and supports that are available to help them. The information they provide will help the family make better decisions about their children and their future.
The new resources will help professionals understand why children need them to take part in the family group conference process, what to expect, and what their role is.
The resources, available on the Child, Youth and Family website include:
- a new brochure for professionals attending a Family Group Conference.
- video clips which feature staff, family members and young people sharing their expertise, and reflecting on their experience with the Family Group Conference process. The video clips cover both care and protection and youth justice, and aim to help professionals (and family members and victims), understand their role and what to expect.
In the year ending 30 June 2013, there were:
- 8,583 care and protection Family Group Conferences - held when there are concerns for the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person
- 6,259 youth justice Family Group Conferences, held when a child or young person has offended.