Every Family Has A Voice

At the earliest stage possible, we plan together with families, their supports and our community partners to help parents care safely for their children.

Every family has a voice when planning for their children. We want to work together with you as a team, and one of the ways we do this is by having family meetings. There are different types of meetings to suit the needs and diversity of your family.

Family Meetings

Family meetings are an opportunity for caregivers, extended family, and any other support people to come together in planning and decision-making about the well-being and safety of your children. Family meetings allow everyone to have their say and be listened to with respect. These meetings focus on bringing together the strengths of your family. For more information or to request a family meeting, please contact your worker.

“It was a respectful process that didn't highlight people's faults. I bragged about it after the meeting as I thought so highly of the meeting style.” Family meeting participant

Family Group Decision Making

Family Group Decision Making is a more formal process that brings together families, extended family, child protection workers and service providers to develop a plan. A facilitator helps to guide the process and ensure everyone involved feels safe, valued, and respected.

“It brought our family together and was healing.” Family Group Decision Making participant

Child Protection Mediation

Child Protection Mediation is a process of resolving disputes between families or families and child welfare service providers, with the help of a professional mediator.

A mediator works to build communication and understanding, encourages everyone to participate, and helps create options for resolving the dispute. The mediator will help to develop an agreement that addresses the concerns and conflict.

“I can’t believe that we sat around this table and actually listened to each other. Now we can all be focused on what is best for our child” A parent who was part of Child Protection Mediation

Family Centred Meetings facilitated by Community Justice Initiatives

Family Centred Meetings are a way of rebuilding and restoring relationships between family members or families and child welfare providers. They are offered in partnership with Community Justice Initiatives (CJI), a local non-profit organization. The CJI facilitator works toward understanding and resolving conflict while empowering each person and gaining recognition for the other person.

Sometimes caregivers would like an opportunity to build their conflict resolution skills before participating in Family Centred Meetings. CJI offers a Conflict Coaching group for caregivers to build their communication and problem-solving skills. These skills also promote stronger relationships with children, partners, ex-partners, and others.

“Our family has been able to talk through things more and together as a family to help problem solve and understand what is happening for the children.” A parent who took part in Family Centred Meetings

For additional information about these meetings or to participate, please contact your worker or adr@facswaterloo.org