Book review Ask the Family

 Ask the Family – National Standards to support family-led decision making and Family Group Conferences (FGC) in Scotland
 Children 1st
 ISBN 9780954970918

 Star rating: 4/5



Children 1st have more than 10 years’ experience of developing the Family Group Conference (FGC) model to fit the Scottish legal and social work system. This book is a reflection on this experience aimed at promoting the development of the FGC model in Scotland.

The first part provides an overview of the FGC model, its part in working with families and the legal context in Scotland the second provides an analysis of the research behind both the FGC model and its principles as well as setting out the common characteristics as a set of national standards the third provides a comprehensive timescale and plan for the creation of a FGC service.

The book would be of use to anyone planning to use the FGC model and it would not take much to adapt the lessons learned in Scotland to fit a wider audience. Much of the book emphasises the universality of the FGC model versus the principles behind it. That is to say the principles can be used where the model of having an independent co-ordinator, preparation time with families and private family time is not felt to be appropriate in any given context.

That said, the book does provide a useful list of circumstances in which the FGC model may be of use including within an adult care setting.

The price of this resource would probably rule out its use by individual practitioners but it would be of greater use to training and strategic planning sections considering the use of FGC in mainstream service provision.

Iain McDonald is a locum social worker at East Renfrewshire Council

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