The principles that underpin the Family Group Conference process are:
The child’s interests are paramount.
The child should have the resources made available for his or her voice to be heard.
The child’s views, feelings and solutions are as valid as the adults participating in the process.
Children are generally best looked after within their families. Services should seek to promote this wherever possible.
Working in partnership with families is beneficial for children.
Families have the ability to make rational and sound decisions about their future and the future of the children involved.
Given the right environment and the correct information, families instinctively know what is best for the children.
The Children Act 1989 strongly reflects these principles and provides the impetus for using Family Group Conferences in practice.