International Charitable Foundation AFEW International (Ukraine) released a 9-minute educational cartoon on family group conferences – a mediated meeting between family members and other officials such as social workers and police in regards to the care and protection of a child or adolescent or prevention of criminal and risky behavior.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IigRnV0ZNE[/youtube]

The core value of the family group conferences is that all issues are solved by negotiations and compromises. The notion of a family in this sense is very broad: besides the child’s parents, far relatives and other adults – those whom the child feels comfortable with and considers a friend – may also participate in solving family issues. A child is also given an opportunity to invite his friends to take part in the conference.

The cartoon is meant for social workers, psychologists and other professionals that work with young people, including those at risk of acquiring HIV. Though the meeting is mediated by ‘outsiders’, it is the family that decides on the plan of actions and bears responsibility for their implementation. Later, social workers follow up and inquire about the progress.

The cartoon was developed within the “Bridging the Gaps: Health and Rights for Key Populations” project funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was presented at the International Scientific and Practical Conference “Effective approaches to working with adolescents with substance use experience” held in Kyiv in November 2015. The event gathered over 200 specialists from 10 countries who presented more than 20 effective methods and tools of working with adolescents and young people between 14 and 24 years of age. Detailed information about the conference as well as access to presentations is available here.

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