Clearinghouse Resource


Pathways to Permanence: Introduction to Family Group Conferencing and Concurrent Planning


Dave Thomas Foundation


Dublin, OH: Dave Thomas Foundation

Source Information (Journal Title, Date, Length)

2000, pages

Description of Resource

Provides a video resource for exposing social services professionals to three alternative methods for improving the safe, timely, and permanent placement of child welfare cases. Passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) in 1997 focused attention on correcting the problems that occur when children 'slip through the cracks' of the foster care system. This video, narrated by a young woman who spent a decade moving among 14 foster homes, examines (1) family group conferencing, (2) concurrent case planning, and (3) mediation. Family group conferencing, usually organized by social service providers, empowers the significant people in a child's life - adult family members, ministers, teachers, and therapists - to discuss the family's strengths and to develop a plan to offer a viable and permanent solution for the child. Concurrent case planning, a method authorized by ASFA, allows social services personnel and the court system to attempt reunification of the parents and children within six to twelve months, while simultaneously planning for adoption. This method potentially reduces the attachment disorders reported in many foster care children as well as shortening the timeline to achieve adoption. Mediation, a court-organized case management tool, uses informal, non-adversarial, yet structured meetings between all participants to resolve issues. The San Francisco Juvenile courts reported that mediation resolved 78-82 percent of cases. (IP)