Family Conferencing

A team decision making program for families (by blood or by choice) who are:

  • At a crisis point
  • A turning point
  • A life-changing decision point

such as:

  • Families with children at high risk of incarceration;
  • Families with children with emotional and behavioral disorders;
  • Families with children returning home from residential treatment;
  • Families whose children are at risk of school failure due to behavioral, emotional or learning disorders;
  • Vulnerable seniors who need extra support to remain in their homes or with a family member;
  • Families with a member facing debilitating or catastrophic illness;

The Four Cornerstones of Family Network Conferencing

One: Orientation and Preparation

Family Network’s success depends in large part upon all participants coming to the initial, and subsequent, meetings fully prepared to participate within the Family Network structure and guidelines. Participants are trained in advance to be a member of a participative decision making team and are offered coaching and consultation throughout the process, should they need further assistance in working with their group.

Two: Principles and Practices

Family Network is a values-driven program. A “Guidelines” sheet is presented to all participants and posted at all meetings that states the principles and the practices associated with them.

Three: The Meeting Structure

Family Network team meetings are structured to ensure that families and their teams have the right conversations and are able to break out-of-the box when it comes to solving problems creatively. The agendas allow specific time for discussion, decision making and measuring progress within the allotted time frame. We base our meeting lengths on the needs of your team and on what management science tells us about how long a group can be together and work effectively.

Four: The Facilitator

Family Network Facilitators are specially trained in leading decision making groups. The role of the Facilitator is to help your group come together, do its best thinking, be creative in its problem-solving and have the kinds of conversations that lead to solutions and yield results. We hope that working with a Family Network Facilitator gives you an experience that is unlike other meetings or conversations that you have had.

What does it involve?

  • A team of family members, friends and service providers you select;
  • Coordination of all your service providers (therapists, mentors, tutors, etc.);
  • Consultation and coaching for team members between meetings
  • Specially facilitated team meetings;
  • Plans that are based on your preferences, strengths, needs and priorities.
  • A “Network of Accountability;” we help you and your team measure your results


Anyone can be on your Family Network team.

You pick your own team!


The Center for Restorative Practice