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Family Group Conferencing Manual for Ontario

To download the English Language Manual, click here to download the PDF.

To download the French Language Manual, click here to download the PDF.

For a list of the Steering Committee members, click here.

To access manual Appendices, Brochures and Sample Documents, click the links below:



Sample Documents:


Involvement of The Office of the Children's Lawyer in the Family Group Conferencing Process

The Child and Family Services Act (CFSA), states that if a child is or may be in need of protection, a children’s aid society must consider whether alternative dispute resolution could assist in resolving any issue relating to the child or a plan for the child’s care. Family Group Conferencing (FGC) is one of the prescribed methods of ADR under the CFSA.

If a society or a person (including a child) who is receiving child welfare services proposes that ADR should be undertaken, the Children’s Lawyer may provide legal representation to the child, if in the opinion of the Children’s Lawyer such representation is appropriate. To give effect to this provision, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services requires that children’s aid societies notify the OCL whenever ADR will be undertaken.  The Children’s Aid Society is responsible for notifying the OCL of an ADR referral.

For more information about The Office of the Children's Lawyer and their roles in FGC, click here to download the PDF.


Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy Directive

To review the  Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy Directive, Ministry of Children & Youth Services, November 2006, click here to download the PDF.

For Questions & Answers regarding Alternative Dispute Resolution, click here to download the PDF.



Research Report:  Growing FGC/FGDM Programs in Ontario

Family Group Conferencing (FGC) was introduced to Canada in the early 1990s. In 1998, a pilot project was run in one area of Toronto. In the intervening years, the interest in FGC has grown. Nine provincial regions now offer FGC as part of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) palette. The processes leading to the expansion of FGC are assumed but have not been formally investigated. How to replicate such success is thus not clear. Further, there also is no evidence base regarding the sustainability of the program.
This study was undertaken in 2016 to explore the organizational development process of FGC in Ontario, Canada. Specifically, it aimed to

Identify the internal and external facilitative and inhibitory processes in promoting the shift to FGC use in child protection;
Identify opportunities and threats to the program; and
Identify processes that would lead to continued sustainability of the program.

To access the full report, click here to download the PDF.

Schmid, J., Morgenshtern, M., Mandell, D. (2016). Growing FGC/FGDM programs in Ontario, Canada. The Ontario Provincial Resource, George Hull Centre.

FGC Around the World

For more information about family group conferences around the world, visit the Kempe Centre's Family Group Decision Making website.


ADR Symposium Presentations 2016

Click the links below to view and download the presentations.