Family group conferencing was pioneered among the Maori community in New Zealand.
This family-centred approach to planning for children at risk arrived in the UK in the early 1990s.
Family group conferences began in 1997 in Essex as a pilot project. Positive outcomes in the first evaluations led to
the project being expanded and, in 1998, FGCs were made available for children and young people with a range of needs and those at risk.
This was later extended to include young offenders and young people with mental health problems. By December 2005 they had received more than 2,000 referrals.