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Children: Social Services

Question for Department for Education

UIN 125336, tabled on 18 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to help enable access to family group conferences at an earlier stage in decision making on the future of a child.

Answered on

28 February 2022

As part of the £84 million ‘Strengthening Families, Protecting Children’ programme, the department is funding six local authorities to adopt the Leeds Family Valued model, which includes implementation of the Family Group Conference (FGC) service at an early stage when a child might potentially be taken into care. Further guidance on this programme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/strengthening-families-protecting-children-sfpc-programme.

This is in addition to 21 local authorities funded via the department’s ‘Supporting Families Investing in Practice’ programme to deliver FGC at in the last stages of care proceedings. Both approaches are being evaluated.

Alongside evaluation findings, the forthcoming findings from the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care will inform decisions on the future role of FGC to safeguard children and support children and families.