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A new collaboration between Community Catalysts and Family and Group Conferencing for adults

An inclusive and exciting way of giving people the power to make their own plans

Through an innovative new partnership built on the experience of a small number of passionate people, Community Catalysts is pleased to support the growing interest in Family and Group Conferencing, especially within the adult social care and health sectors.  Family and Group Conferencing for adults provides an inclusive and exciting way of giving people the power to make their own plans alongside the people that matter to them – with the backing of services if needed.  Plans may focus on organising support, ensuring safety, supporting recovery, resolving challenges and/or forging relationships and community connections.

And the people that matter may include family members, friends, neighbours, members of faith communities, and so on.

How does Family and Group Conferencing for adults work?

An independent coordinator meets with everyone involved to help them prepare and set up a friendly, inclusive get-together (called a Conference) where they will have a chance to work out what they think may work best.  It may be important for some people to have an advocate to help them during the process.  Conferences can take place anywhere that suits the people involved – or can be online if people prefer. Typically, the get-together will start with sharing some food, and will include an opportunity to discuss and clarify ideas with any professionals or agencies that may be important in organising appropriate support.

At the heart of the process is ‘Private Time’ in which a person and those that care about them can be creative and come up with their own ideas as to what would enable them to have the best life possible – individually and collectively.

Family and Group Conferencing for adults fits well with other co-productive or strengths-based approaches that put people in the ‘driving seat’ and maximise their capability to organise what they need in order to live the sort of life that they want to live.

This fits perfectly with the aims and ethos of Community Catalysts.  All the work we do ensures people can get the help and care they need in ways, times and places that suit them, with real choice of attractive local options. We use our expertise to help communities, organisations, authorities and policy makers to deliver the transformational change in services or systems needed to make this a reality. Community Catalysts know that with the right help, connected communities, where citizens care for each other, that offer opportunities for everyone to contribute emerge.

Community Catalysts is a family which includes the Coalition for Personalised Care, a partnership which comes together to focus on personalised health and care and the Local Area Coordination Network which supports this practical, assets-based approach to helping people live their best life.

It is clear that Family and Group Conferencing has strong resonance with the values, ethos and work of Community Catalysts. So we are delighted that Community Catalysts will be hosting a national Research and Practice Network for anyone interested in growing, developing and understanding more about this approach.

If you would like to find out more, visit the Family and Group Conferencing for adults website. This is linked to a national research project funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research which will be looking at how Family and Group Conferencing works in practice and what difference it can make in people’s lives.

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