Thursday, October 17, 2013

Family Group Conferencing for Parents in Recovery

The Center for Dispute Resolution has partnered with Alternative Opportunities, Inc., to offer family group conferences to parents who are in recovery for drug or alcohol abuse. These conferences are offered as a part of the Regional Partnership Grant (RPG) program, which provides treatment, education, support, and other services for families in recovery.

The CDR trains and coordinates volunteers, who provide the family group conference facilitations to families in the RPG program. Volunteers were trained in spring of 2013, and a second group of volunteers is currently in training. Referrals to the program have been steady, and already families are seeing the benefits of the program.

Family group conferences bring a family together with their relatives, friends, and other supportive people in their lives to develop a plan to support the parent in recovery and ensure the safety and well-being of the children involved.

This is not counseling or mediation; instead families are empowered to create their own plans to address problems and support the parents and children taking part in the program. Volunteer facilitators (working in pairs) are responsible for preparing family members for the family group conference and guiding the family meeting in a transparent, honest, and respectful way. Family group conferencing helps develop and strengthen a family’s support network, significantly benefiting children and their family groups, while putting the family at the center of decision-making as they create plans that fit their unique circumstances.

In the words of some family members who have taken part in the family group conferences:
  • “This really helped us figure out who is able to be there for support.” 
  • “I thought the plan went well. Our family pulled together and did great.”
  • “I am very glad this group happened.”
The CDR will be providing additional training opportunities for volunteers who are interested in facilitating family group conferences as a part of this program in the coming months. For more information please visit or email

No comments:

Post a Comment