What we do
Daybreak’s main activity is the provision of family group conferencing services for local authorities. Most of this work is carried out under contract to Children’s Services Departments and is focused on the safety or welfare of young children and adolescents.
We offer a turnkey service. After receiving a referral, we consult with immediate family members to decide whether a family group conference (FGC) is viable. If it is, we then undertake all necessary work to ensure that the process is successful.
This involves first identifying and meeting with participants to prepare them, and then convening and facilitating the FGC itself. Sometimes we may also be asked to arrange a follow-up review at a later date.
Daybreak has successfully pioneered the use of FGCs in other contexts and for other population groups. Their use with children on the ‘edge of care’ has been particularly important; it’s now being rolled out nationally as part of the Department for Education’s Supporting Families: Investing in Practice programme.
We have also convened FGCs for vulnerable adults to address safeguarding concerns and related issues, including elder abuse and domestic violence.
Alongside the delivery of FGCs, we provide accredited training to managers, social workers, coordinators and other professionals. We also support authorities that have their own in-house FGC service or want to set one up.
Ten reasons to choose Daybreak
Our experience. Daybreak was founded more than 20 years ago and we have completed FGCs for many thousands of young children and adolescents.
Our expertise. Daybreak is the only registered charity dedicated exclusively to FGC work. As a result, our team has unparalleled specialist knowledge and skills.
Our performance. We have a proven track record of meeting our contractual obligations on time and to budget, and of achieving excellent results. The high conversion rate of referrals that lead to an FGC and the proportion that produce an acceptable plan is testimony to this. In 2020-21 we received referrals for 1600 young people. FGCs for more than three quarters of this group were convened and almost all resulted in an adopted plan.
Stakeholder satisfaction. Feedback on our services shows exceptionally high levels of satisfaction with our work from managers, social workers and families.
Value for money. For each £1 invested in an FGC, a local authority can save £15-£50 annually when a child or adolescent is diverted from care. These figures are based on the costs of care collated by the National Audit Office1.
Our commitment to quality. We aim to deliver services of the highest quality. To achieve this, we have a highly-developed process to maximise the benefits of an FGC. All our coordinators complete a comprehensive training programme to ensure they understand this process. Our internal monitoring and quality assurance processes ensure that it is always followed.
Our family-centric approach. Our approach is founded on two central beliefs: FGCs must be family-led; and the person on whom the FGC is focused must be empowered to participate as fully as possible. We will do everything necessary to help them feel comfortable with the process. This involves listening to and responding to any concerns they may have, addressing any barriers to full participation and agreeing an acceptable venue. When necessary, advocates are appointed to help children and vulnerable adults prepare for the FGC and represent them at the meeting.
Our diversity awareness. We are very sensitive to the diversity of the families with whom we work. Our coordinators have diverse backgrounds that reflect the multi-cultural communities where they work. We try to organise each FGC in a culturally-appropriate way in accordance with the family’s wishes. If requested, meetings are conducted in the family’s first language, with translation for others.
Our independence. Our coordinators are not employees of a local authority or other statutory agency. They work for Daybreak, a totally separate not-for-profit organisation. This independence greatly increases the likelihood that families will engage with the FGC process.
Our information management. Daybreak has an excellent purpose-designed data management system. This helps ensure efficient case monitoring and record keeping, and enables us to provide local authorities with useful aggregate analyses and other reports.
How to commission our services
For more details about how we can work with you to enhance the welfare and safeguarding of the individuals and families with whom you work, please contact our Head Office.
1 National Audit Office (2014). Children in care. Department for Education. Available at: http://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Children-in-care1.pdf. [Accessed 11 January 2022].