Adult safeguarding: Mediation and family group conferences

People don’t realise you are not coping but when you all sit down as a family and talk about it they really want to help

Mediation and family group conferences are two methods used to try to empower people to work out solutions to their own problems. Mediation is usually a series of facilitated meetings where people agree to discuss areas of difficulty or dispute. Family group conferences (FGCs) have historically been used to work with children and families where there is a risk of care proceedings.

A trained mediator or FGC coordinator can support the at-risk person and their family or wider support network to reach an agreement about why the harm occurred, what needs to be done to repair the harm and what needs to be put into place to prevent it from happening again. These approaches offer people a way to take control of their situation and resolve issues within the family unit – often in the context of strained relationships – in a safe and controlled environment

These approaches can help local authorities to promote choice and control at the same time as fulfilling their statutory obligations to protect people from risk of abuse and harm.

SCIE’s resource looks at research evidence about what works in mediation and family group conferencing.

Other resources