Professional Development:
Family Group Decision Making


  • foster communication and collaboration between young people and their families and professionals
  • empower families and friends — the people who know and care most about each other — to devise and carry out plans
  • bring together formal and informal support to achieve the best possible outcomes
  • respond to behavior problems that are manifestations of larger home issues
  • in school settings:
    • support school attendance
    • address behavior problems
    • address academic performance
  • in youth justice:
    • explore living options
    • help youth transition out of placement
    • prevent correctional residential placement
  • in children and youth:
    • protect children from abuse or neglect while maintaining strong family ties
    • determine the best place for a child to live when home is not an option
    • help a youth who is aging out of the child welfare system plan for the future
    • help deal with problems in the home
    • prevent foster care placement


  • how to prepare and facilitate an FGDM conference
  • in-depth exploration of all stages of FGDM
  • collaboration vs. coercion — working more effectively with families
  • differences between real and token engagement
  • impact of widening the circle to include extended family and friends
  • critical need for the coordinator to be independent

Agenda & Materials

  • FGDM overview
  • practice exercises and FGDM role plays
  • feedback and stories from practitioners
  • group discussion on philosophy of practice
  • video of re-enacted FGDM conferences based on real-life situations
  • video of family members who have experienced FGDM
  • helpful take-along handouts and the FGDM facilitator guide

The two days run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Morning refreshments and a simple lunch are provided.

Cost per person
$400 USD / $400 CAD