Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag Start of the European FGC-network meeting
30 oktober 2013
Start of the European FGC-network meeting
After that I spent some time sitting on a sunny terrace and doing some Dutch homework for my foundation against coercive psychiatric treatments (www.mindrights.nl).
In the afternoon the European Network-meeting on Family Group Conferencing started. This event is organized by the Family Circle, a Serbian NGO (www.ukruguporodice.org), with support from Unicef and the Novak Djokovic Foundation.
At 3 pm all participants gathered at the 6th floor of the Palace hotel for a welcoming session “who is who”. There were around 27 participants from various countries: Bulgaria, Russia, Sweden, Norway, UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Italy and Serbia. Everyone presented themselves and their work and relation with Family Group Conferencing (FGC). Most people are active in local/regional or national organizations dedicated to FGC. I briefly told that I got in contact with FGC because I was invited for participating in the law reform on forced psychiatric treatments, which I fully disagreed with, and then I analysed every aspect of that law and rephrased it fully, which led to the design of an alternative model to avoid forced psychiatric treatments; I found that Family Group Conferencing would fit, and with the Dutch FGC-organization (www.eigen-kracht.nl ) we have started a pilot project in 3 regions in the Netherlands including research by VUMC University.
At 17.30 we started walking towards the City Hall of Belgrade, where we had a reception.
We were welcomed by a lady from the City Department of Social Welfare. Then Mr. Nenad Matic, the City Secretary of the department of Social Welfare of the government of Belgrade expressed support to Family Group Conferencing. He said that he was of opinion that the stability of a nation starts at family level. The hard years in the past had had negative effects on families. So now the strategy is to help families; By keeping families together everything else is easier to solve. So helping families in crisis is a main goal. Mr. Matic supports further implementation of FGC in Belgrade.
Then Zeljka Burgund, one of the organizers of the meeting spoke about the implementation of FGC in Belgrade. There have been 50 Family Group Conferences in Belgrade and the effects are positive: it works. Also about 200 social workers have been trained on FGC. The goal is to make FGC an everyday practice, in social welfare and also in other areas, in Serbia and in all of Europe.
Then Rob van Pagee, one of the founders of the European Network on FGC spoke about vulnerable people, who often come alone to services. FGC widens the circle and puts the problem in the middle, and everyone is asked to help making a plan. In daily life this is actually a normal practice to ask others for advise, but this is not normal in the government or welfare systems. FGC is actually a way to support democracy: It means giving people their voice, and more than voting every 2 or 4 years. FGC is giving people control over their own lives. Then Rob handed Mr. Matic the book “The Quiet Revolution”. This book was made after one of the European Network meetings on FGC.
Then Olivera Simendic, the assistant of the manager of the Belgrade City Centre for Social Work expressed appreciation for the FGC work and the training of 200 of their employees. This centre for Social Work is the biggest in Serbia. It has 570 employees and carries out about 90.000 interventions each year. Starting the implementation of FGC in a city may be harder than in rural areas, however in the past 3 years a lot has been done, also with support of the government. It is precious to learn from other experiences, and on behalf of the centre for Social Work she said the centre hopes to justify the trust given to them, by implementing FGC successfully.
Between these short welcoming speeches a lady was playing the piano for us. That was nice. And afterwards there were cocktails and snacks, and we stayed for a while, having nice chats in the room and on the outside balcony. This used to be the palace of the king a long time ago. It was surely special to be there.
After the reception we walked back to the hotel. It was then 8 pm, but everyone felt like it was later (tired). Many of us, including me, went to the bar next door for a drink and after that I went to the supermarket and then to my room to write this blog. Internet still isn’t working on my floor, but apart from that, everything is really fine. It has been an interesting day.
31 oktober 2013 09:28 | Door: christien
Interessante dag geweest!
Vandaag en morgen nog zo'n vruchtbare dag en dan.....