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Abstract 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.

Original publication




Journal article


The British Journal of Social Work


Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication Date