Helping families keep their children safe through virtual Family Group Decision Making

For 20 years Children 1st has supported families, whose children are at risk of being taken into care, to develop their own plan to keep their children safe and promote their wellbeing, through Family Group Decision Making.  We believe that every family know themselves best and have their own strengths. With the support of extended family and friends every family has capacity to develop their own solutions to keep their children safe in their family and community, within the basic requirements laid out by professionals.

With wider families unable to come together in person for Family Group Decision Making, due to coronavirus, Children 1st are conducting virtual Family Group Decision Making, working with the Scottish Children’s Reporter’s Administration (SCRA) and Local Authority Teams across the South East of Scotland, where children are at immediate risk of being taken into care. These plans will be shared during the Children’s Hearing process and Children 1st are working with SCRA to find ways to provide ongoing support and review for the plans families make. Learning from the pilot, we hope to extend virtual Family Group Decision Making and to inform the next steps of the Care Review which has called for creative and new ways of working to help families stay safely together.