Venango County PA Human Services Homepage

Family Group Decision Making

Overview of Service

Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) is a process that empowers families by placing them in charge of developing their own plan which will guide their future. FGDM is a voluntary process; if the family chooses to end the process, they can do so at any time.

Eligible Population

  • No age restrictions

Average Length of Service

  • As long as needed

Frequency & Location of Contacts

  • One Family Group Decision Making Conference
  • Can occur in the community or at the provider's location

Core Components of the Service

  • Family Driven
  • Family Empowerment
  • Identification of Natural Supports
  • Strength Based approach for service planning

Service Provider

Child to Family Connections
191 Howard Street
Franklin, PA 16323
Phone: 814-437-3862

An FGDM Coordinator will assist the family in determining which relatives, friends, and service providers they want to include in their family conference. The coordinator will then prepare all of the conference participants by visiting or calling them. This preparation is centered on the strengths of the family and the purpose of the family meeting. Purposes may include but are not limited to child placements, transition plans for youth aging out of foster care, school issues, etc. Typically, referrals for FGDM are received from Venango County Children, Youth and Family Services but are accepted by any agency or person.

At the FGDM meeting, families are expected to make their own plan to address their family concerns. Families are provided a “private time” to develop their plan. After the plan is made, the family will present their plan to the rest of the conference participants. If a referral source is present, they will accept the plan or ask for more details. Once a plan is agreed upon by everyone, it will become the family’s primary plan and will be monitored by the referral source.

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