Family Welfare Conference
A family welfare conference involves a special family meeting supported by professionals to discuss concerns about a child's welfare. It is characterised by a child-centred approach which also draws in support for the young person from their family, friends and people important to them. The target of the Family Welfare Conference is typically children in the Best Chance and Best Choice age categories and their families, but it is also available to children in the Best Start category.
An independent report in 2009 found that the majority of conferences resulted in positive outcomes for the children, particularly for children in care and for those who were not regularly attending school.
"I was amazed to watch the Family Welfare Conference meeting unfold and to see a family who are normally at logger-heads come up with a number of workable solutions to their problem. It seemed like an empowering position for the family and all the suggestions were very doable. A safe forum for all the family members to speak and be heard may seem like a simple, logical thing, but it rarely happens in reality."
Quote from an advocate who took part in the 2009 study