What is Pregnancy Family Conferencing?
The Pregnancy Family Conferencing (PFC) program aims to provide early engagement and inter-agency care planning for pregnant women, their partners and families where there may be concerns about the safety and well-being of the unborn baby. Pregnancy Family Conferencing is used differently to traditional case planning meetings. It is a voluntary process and family members are supported to attend and contribute to making a plan for the baby when he/she is born. The meetings are facilitated by an independent person from One Future using a strengths-based approach.
There will usually be three meetings during the pregnancy. All participants of the meetings are expected to work together to develop and review a plan for how the baby will be provided with a safe and caring home after discharge from hospital.
How does Pregnancy Family Conferencing work?
Pregnancy Family Conferencing meetings are facilitated using the Three Houses tool. The Three Houses method takes the three key assessment questions of the ‘Signs of Safety’ framework: What are we worried about, what’s working well and what needs to happen, and locates them in three houses.
Strengths / Good things:
What makes your house strong / happy / good? What would your unborn baby say you were doing well?
Vulnerabilities / Worries / Hiccups
What makes your house vulnerable / sad / insecure? What would your unborn baby say you were worried about?
Hopes and Dreams
What are your goals / aspirations? What would you like to be different in your life? What do you want for your baby once s/he is born?
These are how the meetings are usually set out:
Meeting One: We meet and identify the strengths, worries and hopes and dreams and generate a plan to address the concerns. We aim to meet within three weeks of referral received (18-22 weeks gestation).
Meeting Two: We meet and review the progress of the family and unborn baby as it related to the case plan, we may adjust the plan and consider if we need to develop a contingency plan. (6-8 weeks after the first meeting).
Meeting Three: We meet and review the family’s progress and help to develop a birth plan and decide what plans need to be made once baby is discharged from hospital (6-8 weeks after second meeting).
Sometimes, if a family has not had three meetings during the pregnancy, One Future will organise to have a final meeting after baby is born to ensure the family has supports in place and to support any referrals that may need to happen.
Who can attend a Pregnancy Family Conference?
One Future will work with you, your family and support networks to understand who is best to attend the pregnancy family conferences. This could include members of your family, extended family and kin, a support person or a community elder and other agencies.
One Future will coordinate the meetings and support the attendance of people to each meeting. Where services or kin cannot attend, the facilitator will talk to them and ensure that relevant information they may be able to offer is shared in the meeting.
The Department of Communities and Justice will also attend the meeting to talk about their concerns and how they can support you to have baby in your care.