Human Services Department

Family Group Decision Making (FGDM)

Purpose/Description:

Family Group Decision Making is a practice that gives authority to and empowers families by allowing them to draw on family experiences, knowledge and resources to create and implement plans that provide for the safety, permanency and well-being of their family. When families are the decision-makers, it allows them to be invested in a plan for positive change and promotes a future of decreased involvement in formal systems. FGDM empowers families to develop plans to overcome adverse issues they are experiencing.

As a family-based approach, FGDM focuses on the strengths of the family to address an extensive range of circumstances. FGDM has been broadened to assist any individual within the York County Human Services Division, the Legal and Judicial systems, the Prison system, schools, the medical field as well as any requesting York County family. FGDM processes are carefully coordinated and provide neutral facilitation to ensure fidelity to the FGDM values. We believe that family members know their families best and strengths are tools to solve concerns. The dynamic ability of FGDM is its ability to deal with cross agency concerns and adapt to changing circumstances within each agency or family. The FGDM conferences are and will be used to bridge gaps between services and allow families to be accountable for the concerned individual(s).

Services:

The process starts with an agency or concerned individual referring an individual to the FGDM Supervisor (contact information can be found below).

Coordination and Pre Conference:

Once the Supervisor has received a referral, she will review the documentation and provide the referral to a Coordinator. The Coordinator will contact the identified individual, as well as their family and friends, and any professional staff who work with them. Information will be provided on family group - how it works, the process, etc. The concerns resulting in the referral will also be discussed. The family is prepared for the conference and chooses the date, time, location, and invitation list that best suits their needs.

Conference:

The conference is divided into three basic components. First, each participant has an opportunity to reflect upon and state their impression of the family’s strengths and their concerns for the family in relationship to an agreed upon purpose, as well as resources that the family would be able to use in their plan. At the conclusion of this component there is a meal served for all participants in order to regroup and build relationships. Following the meal, the service providers leave the conference room and allow the family participants to come together to produce a detailed plan showing the individual tasks, who will be responsible, and when the tasks will be completed to address the concerns. Upon completion of the plan, the service providers re-convene with the family so the family can present their plan. Once the plan is clarified and finalized, whoever referred the family will accept and support the family’s plan. A copy of the finalized plan is distributed to all participants, so everyone knows what is expected of them.

Post Conference:

Post-conferences will be conducted to discuss the plan’s implementation, to determine if the plan is being followed, and to see if any changes need to be made to the plan. Data will also be collected and outcomes evaluated in order to complete monthly and yearly reports. All family, friends, service providers, etc, that participated in the original plan are involved in the post conference.

Follow-up Conference:

At any time that the group feels a follow-up conference is necessary, the referral source or another person involved in the family group can contact the Coordinator, and the Coordinator will work to schedule another conference to discuss concerns or adjust the plan. Contact is made for up to one year if the family is in agreement in order to check on the progress and success of the plan.

FGDM Contacts:

In August of 2011, York County Human Services implemented the FGDM model through hired, county staff. For more information please contact the individuals below.

Donna Creager - FGDM Supervisor
DCreager@yorkcountypa.gov
Phone: (717) 771-9095
Fax: (717) 771-9855

Endi Dabney, Coordinator
ETDabney@yorkcountypa.gov
Phone: (717) 771-9095
Fax: (717) 771-9855

Mairim Luciano - Bilingual Coordinator
MLuciano@yorkcountypa.gov
Phone: (717) 771-9095
Fax: (717) 771-9855

Jamie Russell, Coordinator
JRussell@yorkcountypa.gov
Phone: (717) 771-9095
Fax: (717) 771-9855
Shawn Becker, Facilitator
SNBecker@yorkcountypa.gov
Phone: (717) 771-9095
Fax: (717) 771-9855
Karen Korte, Administrative Assistant
KSKorte@yorkcountypa.gov
Phone: (717) 771-9095
Fax: (717) 771-9855

Forms & Documents: