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  • Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) is an evidence-based model adapted from the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Training Program.  FGDM is a free, voluntary service that assists families in taking charge of their issues concerning child welfare and safety. Family Group Decision Making is a term used to describe a practice that recognizes the role and long-term tradition that families have in understanding the caretaking of family members. FGDM offers the opportunity for family members to come together as the best people to make short and long-term decisions.​

  • FGDM is more than just a meeting; it is a process of collaboration and negotiation. It is an extensive gathering that invites people from the broad family system and community. FGDM gives a planning overview to the family and provides family time. It pulls everyone together so they can help in the short and long term stability of the family unit.  It is facilitated by a trained and certified FGDM facilitator.

  • Family Group Decision Making will be administered to those families identified by Children Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and/or Juvenile Probation Office (JPO); families identified to have risk factors that will destabilize the family unit with concerns of safety, abuse, and or neglect.

  • FGDM primary goals include to:

    • Increase safety in the family unit to reduce the rate of abuse or neglect.

    • Engage families and communities in the helping process to maintain the stability of the family unit.

    • Reduce the removal of children from their homes.

    • Resolve concerns that will shorten the timeline for children in out of home placement.

    • Empower families to advocate for change by encouraging them to work together to find solutions.

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