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Becoming an FGC Coordinator

Becoming a Rostered FGC Coordinator is a two step process.  

The first step is an Application for Training, which is reviewed and approved by the Ontario Provincial Resource office.   Upon approval, applicants participate in the three-day training course offered twice a year by the Ontario Provincial Resource.  

Upon successful completion of the three-day training course, the second step is an Application for Mentorship which is reviewed and approved by the Ontario Provincial Resource.  Once approved, applicants arrange their mentorship directly with a rostered FGC Mentor.

The Family Group Conferencing Ontario Provincial Resource is responsible for overseeing training, mentoring and the registration of FGC Coordinators to be posted on the Family Group Conferencing Provincial Roster.  Individuals cannot coordinate Family Group Conferences until the training and mentorship are satisfactorily completed and they are approved for the Provincial Roster of Coordinators.

For upcoming FGC Coordinator Training dates and information, click here to download the PDF.

FGC Coordinator Training

Application Process for the FGC Coordinator Training

  1. Applicants complete the FGC Coordinator Application package and submit to the Provincial Resource Office.  To access the FGC Coordinator Training Application Package, click here to download the PDF.

  2. Applications are reviewed and applicants are selected based on the match of their skills and experience with the selection criteria as noted below.

  3. Selected applicants register for and complete the three day FGC Coordinator Training Program, which qualifies the applicant to apply for the FGC Mentorship (see below).

Training Goals and Objectives

  • Participants will get a broad overview of the history of Family Group Conferencing (FGC) and understand the evolution of FGC in the province of Ontario, including an overview of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practices within child welfare.

  • Participants will get a broad overview of the FGC process and develop an understanding of the importance of model integrity.

  • Participants will be exposed to the guiding principles of FGC and the underlying philosophy of the practice.

  • Participants will understand the role of the coordinator, requirements and time it takes to be trained in the practice.

Criteria for Selecting Candidates for the Training

  • A post-secondary educational qualification in human services from an accredited college or university or equivalent.

  • A minimum of five (5) years experience and demonstrated ability in working with families and children.

  • Registration (or eligibility for registration) with the college or regulatory body governing their profession where applicable. 

  • An understanding of and experience interfacing with the child welfare system in order to sufficiently inform families about how the system functions.

  • An understanding of domestic violence risk assessment and management and/or experience of domestic violence dynamics and best practice.

  • Knowledge and experience in working with marginalized populations.

  • Experience in facilitating large groups and creating an environment of trust, collaboration and safety.

  • Ability to be flexible and adjust to changing, challenging environments.

  • Willingness and ability to work daytime, evenings and weekends to maintain service delivery.

  • Strong organizational competency and self-directive abilities.

  • Strong computer literacy skills, as well as strong oral and written communication skills.

  • Commitment to continuing personal and professional development.

Application Form and required documents are to be submitted to:

The FGC Ontario Provincial Resource
The George Hull Centre for Children and Families
81 The East Mall, Third Floor
Toronto, Ontario,
Canada M8Z 5W3
ProvincialResource@georgehull.on.ca

FGC Mentorship 

Application Process for FGC Mentorship

  1. Upon completion of the FGC Coordinator Training, interested applicants are eligible to apply for a Mentorship in FGC.

  2. A completed FGC Mentorship Application Package is required and includes a statement of interest, proof of professional liability insurance and the results from a current Police Vulnerable Sector Screen.  If it has been more than six months since the resume was submitted for the FGC Coordinator Training, an updated resume is also required.  To access the Mentorship Application Package, click here to download the PDF.                

  3. Applications for Mentorship are reviewed by a committee compromised of mentors and/or Provincial Resource staff.

  4. Candidates deemed suitable will proceed to the mentorship interview.  A potential mentor interviews the mentee to confirm criteria eligibility, ensure match and complete a Mentorship Agreement.

  5. The Mentorship Agreement (including cost arrangements) is a private agreement between mentor and mentee.  It may include the regional ADR Service Delivery Agency where applicable.  A copy of the agreement is provided to the FGC Provincial Resource office.

  6. Written consent is required to allow communication between the Provincial Resource office, the Mentor and the Mentee to facilitate the mentorship's progress. It may include the regional ADR Service Delivery Agency, where applicable.

Mentorship Goals and Objectives

  • To assist the prospective coordinator in developing a comprehensive understanding of the entire FGC process.

  • To provide the prospective coordinator with opportunities to observe the FGC process through a range of experiences, so that he/she is ready to coordinate a conference independently.

  • To allow the prospective coordinator to successfully integrate and apply the guiding FGC principles and philosophy into all aspects of their practice.

  • To provide support, consultation and/or supervision to the prospective coordinator.

  • To observe and interact with the prospective coordinator so that an informed judgment can be made about the prospective coordinator’s ability to coordinate the conferencing process independently.

Criteria for Selecting Candidates for Mentorship

  • Successful completion of the three day FGC Coordinator Training Program within past 24 months.

  • A post-secondary educational qualification in human services from an accredited college or university or equivalent.

  • A minimum of five (5) years experience and demonstrated ability in working with families and children.

  • Registration (or eligibility for registration) with the college or regulatory body governing their profession where applicable. 

  • An understanding of and experience interfacing with the child welfare system in order to sufficiently inform families about how the system functions.

  • An understanding of domestic violence risk assessment and management and/or experience of domestic violence dynamics and best practice.

  • Knowledge and experience in working with marginalized populations.

  • Experience in facilitating large groups and creating an environment of trust, collaboration and safety.

  • Ability to be flexible and adjust to changing, challenging environments.

  • Willingness and ability to work daytime, evenings and weekends to maintain service delivery.

  • Strong organizational competency and self-directive abilities.

  • Strong computer literacy skills, as well as strong oral and written communication skills.

  • Commitment to continuing personal and professional development.

The Mentorship Process

Availability of mentorship is dependent on the availability of mentors, which may vary from time to time and from region to region.  The Provincial Resource office can provide information about mentors available in your region.  The length of the mentorship is dependent upon many factors, including but not limited to the skills of the mentee, geography, availability of mentee/mentor and consent of participating families.

The mentorship is structured as a graduated system in which the mentee will first observe their mentor, and then the mentor will observe the mentee.

The mentee will:

  • Be mentored/supervised through all stages of an FGC/FGDM process, involving as many cases as required.

  • Have only one mentor, with the discretion to designate the prospective coordinator reciprocal shadowing to another experienced FGC/FGDM coordinator when applicable.

  • Initially, shadow the mentor and then be shadowed by the mentor through the following aspects of the FGC/FGDM process while receiving ongoing supervision/consultation throughout the mentorship process.

    • Referral, consents and confidentiality agreement.

    • Facilitating summary writing and developing the child welfare statement and concerns, including bottom lines, in strength based language.

    • Preparing various participants, such as family members, children, service providers/professionals, foster parents, child welfare staff in face to face meetings.

    • Addressing and supporting the creation of safety at all stages of the conferencing process.

    • Collaborating with the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL) and Band representatives.

    • Understanding the importance of cultural diversity.

    • Utilizing guest speakers.

    • Managing the logistics of conference coordination.

    • Completing all administrative, recording and accountability duties and procedures.

    • Reviewing and assisting in editing service provider reports, including child welfare report, as required.

    • Facilitating an actual conference.

    • Completing and distributing the written family plan.

Due to geographical constraints, teleconferencing, video conferencing and other creative options may be used to shadow the prospective coordinator contacts and the conference coordination process.  However, the mentor must be physically present when the mentee facilitates his/her first conference.

Mentorship is successfully completed with a recommendation form and letter from the mentor to the Provincial Resource office indicating that the mentee has acquired the necessary FGC coordinator skills and experiences and is deemed capable of coordinating conferences independently. Additional qualifiers may accompany the recommendations. 

The recommendation letter must include a supervision/consultation support plan to be put in place for all newly rostered FGC coordinators.  

The FGC Provincial Resource office, in consultation with the mentor, is responsible for the registration and roster posting of the new FGC Coordinator.

Please note: Mentees cannot coordinate conferences independently until the mentorship is completed and they are registered on the Provincial Roster of Coordinators. 

Application Form and required documents are to be submitted to:

The FGC Ontario Provincial Resource
The George Hull Centre for Children and Families
81 The East Mall, Third Floor
Toronto, Ontario,
Canada M8Z 5W3
ProvincialResource@georgehull.on.ca

Questions and Answers

Can anyone take the training?

Applicants are screened against a set of criteria, which is outlined on the training application.  Sometimes, there are more qualified applicants than training opportunities.  If this is the case, eligible applicants will be notified of the next training dates and asked if they want to be put on the list for that training.

Is there a cost to the training?

Yes, the fee for the training is $650.00.  This includes a $50 non-refundable processing fee, and a tuition fee of $600 which covers three days of training, all training materials and lunch on all training days.   The tuition fee is refundable if notice is given in writing to the Provincial Resource office at least 48 hours prior to the commencement of the training.  If notification is received in writing at a point in time less than 48 hours, refunds will be only given if space can be filled by another applicant.  Once the training commences, no further refunds will be available.

I have previously attended the two (2) day: FGC basic and advanced level training, prior to the changes made to the provincial curriculum in February 2014.  Am I required to apply for and attend the training again?

You will be required to contact the Provincial Resource office to discuss your status.   However, if you have received the training within the last twenty-four (24) months, you have the option to attend the training again and the tuition fee will be waived.  If you have attended the training in the past but it was not within the last 24 months, you will be required to apply to attend the training and the identified costs will be attached.

Once I complete the training will I be guaranteed a mentorship?

Completing the training is the first step in the process of becoming a Family Group Conferencing Coordinator.  After the training, participants may choose to continue with the next stage.  Interested participants will need to write a Statement of Interest application and submit that to the Provincial Resource office.  If accepted as a potential candidate to move on to the next phase, then potential coordinators-in-training will participate in interviews with FGC mentors.

You will have the opportunity to be interviewed by a mentor.   You also can interview several mentors.  It is important that the mentor-mentee relationship fits for both parties, as you will be working closely together.

Is there a cost to being mentored?

Yes, there is a cost.  Mentors will discuss the details of their contract with you.

If I get trained and mentored will I be guaranteed future employment or a contract?

No, there is no guarantee of future employment or future contracts.  Most Family Group Conference Coordinators either work for an agency or work independently.  Each region of the province is organized slightly differently.  The FGC Ontario Provincial Resource office is not involved with hiring or making recommendations about potential new hires.

How long will it take before I can practice FGC?

The length of time from training to being placed on the roster varies widely.  It is dependent upon many factors: the availability of suitable referrals; availability in the schedules of mentor, coordinator-in-training and families; geography; skills, abilities and attitude of coordinator-in-training and other factors.  It can take quite a length of time, so be sure that this is work you want to undertake. 

Will I be supported in my FGC practice?

Yes, you will find that the FGC community is very welcoming and supportive to newcomers.  Professional development days are held twice a year and you will get an opportunity to network and learn about relevant matters to the field.  The FGC Provincial Resource office is also available to answer many of your questions and if they don’t know the answer they will connect you with someone from the community. 

To contact the FGC Provincial Resource office, call us at 416-622-8833 ext 265 or email at ProvincialResource@georgehull.on.ca.

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