Before the Family Court can make a final care or protection order, a Family Group Conference (FGC) must be held. Unless there is an urgent need, the Family Court proceedings cannot move forward until an FGC has been held.
A family group conference (FGC) is a formal meeting. If urgent applications have been made to the Family Court under the Oranga Tamariki Act or Oranga Tamariki intends to make an application to the Family Court, but it is not urgent, an FGC must be held.
The purpose and the rules are set out in the Oranga Tamariki Act. An FGC being held can be started by a social worker, police officer, or by request of three members who attended the previous FGC.
There are two pathways to an FGC:
Both pathways provide the opportunity for whānau and Oranga Tamariki to work together on a plan.