Family Group Decision Making
Suspect child abuse? Report it! Call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.
The Family Group Decision Making Program (FGDM) is a county and non-profit partner initiative to support family resiliency and child safety, and prevent child abuse and neglect risk factors among families in which there is a parent/child conflict. Program Coordinators are bilingual, bicultural, trauma-informed and trained to respond to instances of child neglect, or failure to meet any of a child’s basic needs, and help caregivers better support their children in the long term. Program Coordinators work with families in which there is a risk for child placement out of the home and into foster care, families that are fostering a child to help with the transition, families that are reunifying after the child was in foster care, post adoption, permanency planning, with a focus on children displaying disruptive behaviors, school truancy, and delinquency.
Program Coordinators are trained to provide support in a variety of parenting aspects including establishing a daily routine, hygeine practices, appropriate discipline, healthy relationships, mental healthcare, and more. Program Coordinators also provide connections to stable housing, employment, education on budgeting, or other building blocks that make for a safe, stable home. As a result, more caregivers have the knowledge to parent and ability to overcome challenges to support their children’s well-being.
How does it work?
FGDM has been provided by MCHC in partnership with the Chester County Department of Children, Youth and Families (CYF) since 2018. A CYF Caseworker responds to a ChildLine report of an issue regarding child safety (i.e. suspected or known abuse or neglect, parent/child conflict, drug or alcohol use) by visiting the home to assess the situation. The CYF Caseworker determines the appropriate action based on severity, and if short-term support would resolve the issue, may refer them to FGDM. Participation by the family is voluntary, and may be referred by any agency or self-referred.
FGDM consists of three meetings (1-3 hours each) within a two month timeframe. The Program Coordinator organizes a pre-conference with involved parties to discuss the issue (i.e. school guidance counselor, family member, neighbor, CYF Caseworker). The Program Coordinator, the priority family, and any of the family’s support system that they would like to be involved are invited to meet in-person to discuss the issue and come up with a plan to address it. The Program Coordinator holds a post-conference with the primary caregivers and/or immediate family members to see if the plan is working or to make adjustments. Program Coordinators work with Spanish and English-speaking families with children ages 0-18 years-old.
Manager of Life Skills, Diversion, and Family Group Decision Making Programs
610-344-5370 x 127