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Family group conference provision in UK local authorities and associations with children looked after rates

Wood, Sophie ORCID:, Scourfield, Jonathan ORCID:, Meindl, Melissa ORCID:, Au, Kar Man, Evans, Rhiannon ORCID:, Jones-Williams, Delyth, Lugg-Widger, Fiona ORCID:, Pallmann, Philip ORCID:, Robling, Michael ORCID:, Schroeder, Elizabeth-Ann, Petrou, Stavros and Wilkins, David ORCID: 2024. Family group conference provision in UK local authorities and associations with children looked after rates. The British Journal of Social Work 10.1093/bjsw/bcae019

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Family group conferences (FGCs) in child welfare share decision-making with family members by bringing the immediate and wider family together to make a plan to meet a child’s needs. This paper reports survey findings on FGC provision in the UK in 2022 and explores whether in England the presence of an FGC service and the rate of FGC provision is associated with the rate of children in care, entering care, in kinship foster care and leaving care. Seventy-nine per cent (n = 167) of local authorities in the UK provided FGCs to families, and 14 per cent (n = 29) did not. Services that were more established offered a more diverse range of FGCs. The introduction of FGCs in English local authorities was associated with a higher rate of children in care, but also higher rates of kinship foster care, a key goal of FGCs where it is not possible for children to stay with their parents. Higher rates of FGCs were associated with more children leaving care, possibly due to reunification with birth families. To understand in more detail, the circumstances of children in and leaving care in local authorities with FGCs, individual data linkage studies are needed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer)
Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE)
Centre for Trials Research (CNTRR)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0045-3102
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 February 2024
Date of Acceptance: 30 January 2024
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2024 14:45

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