Restorative Family Group Conferences (FGCs)

Restorative FGCs have been successfully used for many years in a variety of settings, including schools, workplaces, social housing, in communities, and within the criminal justice system.

When there is a conflict between two or more people or an offence has been committed. Those involved are brought together by an independent and qualified person to discuss what has happened from all points of view, encouraging communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward.

Restorative FGC are facilitated through a voluntary meeting or conference (dependant on the circumstances and type of behaviour/offence), Which holds offenders to account for what they have done, personally and directly, letting them understand the real impact of their actions, take responsibility and help repair the harm they have done.

In criminal justice, restorative FGCs gives many victims of harm with the opportunity to tell the offenders of the impact of their crime, get answers to their questions, to gain an understanding as to why what happened to them happened, help them to move on with their lives and get an apology

Restorative FGCs can be used to address a wide range of issues from non-criminal behaviour all the way through to serious offences including sexual, hate and violent crime.

Restorative FGCs approaches are based on four key features:

  • RESPECT – for everyone by listening to other opinions and learning to value them
  • RESPONSIBILTY – taking responsibility for your own actions
  • REPAIR – developing the skills within our community so that its individual members have the necessary skills to identify solutions that repair harm and ensure behaviours are not repeated
  • RE-INTEGRATION – working through a structured, supportive process that aims to solve the problem and allows young people to remain in mainstream education, training and employment.

Restorative FGCs are increasingly being used in schools, care homes and the wider community to address conflict, build understanding and strengthen relationships with young people.