Family Group Decision Making

Empowering families to establish goals and plan for the safety of their child to prevent crisis situations before they happen.

Family Group Decision Making

Most serious problems in life do not go away on their own, and it is easier to deal with a problem right away before it escalates. FGDM is a program designed to head off familial problems before they reach crisis level.

For example, when a child experiences trouble in school but lacks the appropriate support at home, he or she might stop going to school altogether. The parent becomes frustrated and begins taking his anger out on the child, and before you know it, Children Youth and Family Services is ready to step in. If the truancy issue is addressed early on, however, the problem can be stopped before more invasive action is necessary.

FGDM is a voluntary meeting with professional counselors and the whole family support network (which may include the immediate family, grandparents, aunts, uncles and close friends) designed to address family issues relating to abuse, addiction, mental illness, behavioral issues and truancy. Held in a neutral location and facilitated by a trained counselor, the family discussion includes gathering information about strengths, worries and concerns. Then the family works together to establish an action plan which will address the issue before it reaches crisis level, thereby eliminating the need for involvement by outside agencies.

Eligibility Criteria: This program is available to families with children suffering from behavior problems or abuse in Armstrong, Allegheny, Indiana and Westmoreland Counties. Referrals from schools or the county in any location are accepted, as well as self-referrals.