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Experts` meeting and European annual network meeting for Family group conference

“Family Group Conference – a contemporary model of support to multi problem families in BiH” was the name of public experts` meeting held in Sarajevo on October 5th 2016, hosted and organized by In Foundation, a meeting that gathered more than 40 representatives from relevant stakeholders, local authorities, social welfare centers, academics from department for social work and NGO sector representatives from BiH.

The meeting was organized with the aim to promote model of “Family Group Conference” (FGC), to present achievements in the implementation of the model in BiH, and to get recommendations for integration of this model into child and social protection system.

The opening was done by Mrs. Loes Lammerts, the deputy of Ambassador of Kingdom of Nederland. There were international experts from Nederland, who apply this model in working with children and multi problem families in EU countries for many years, present at the meeting. Participants could hear about international experiencies with the implementation of the FGC model from Mr. Rob van Pagee, organisation “Eigen Kracht Centrale”, from Nederland, and prof.dr. Gert Schout, expert in the field of social resilience and public mental health, also from Nederland, Mrs. Mariana van Teeffelen, Foundation “Kinderpostzegels”, Nederland, and Mr. Aleksandar Bozic, who represented In Foundation.

After experts` meeting, the European annual network meeting for Family group conference started from October 5 – 7. 2016, The EU annual network meeting gathered 50 representatives (directors, managers of social services and social workers) from 12 EU countries that implement this child protection model. The host country of the European Family group conference network 2016 was BiH, in organization of the In foundation.

Family group conference is an international model of support to children and families facing life crisis and problems. Family through the model of family gathering, support and assistance of its social network initiates its own strengths for solving and overcoming life challenges and problems they are facing. Family group conference is an innovative practice available to beneficiaries in BiH in the municipality of Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Mostar, Zenica, Bijeljina, Tuzla, Bihac and Gradiska, it has been implemented through the project partnership of civil society organizations and social welfare centers, with the financial and technical support of In foundation. This efficient service with the wide range of applications, well accepted by beneficiaries and professionals, provides high percentage of positive results for vulnerable groups (children and their families). This model of work partly compensates the lack of alternative services for support to family in child/social protection system in BiH.

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