Who we are

The African, Caribbean, Black Family Group Conferencing Project, also known as ACB-FGC is working to transform the way the child welfare system supports the wellbeing of African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) children, families and youth by delivering culturally adapted Family Group Conferencing to ACB communities in the Toronto area

Family Group Conferencing is an existing model of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) used in to help streamline court processes and encourage alternatives to court for families engaged in the child welfare system. It focuses on a more strengths-based, inclusive and collaborative approach to resolving child protection disputes, and encourages the involvement and support of the family, extended family, and the community in planning and decision-making for children.

In the province of Ontario, Family Group Conferencing is managed by the George Hull Centre for Children and Families.

In February 2018, the University of Toronto, in partnership with the Metro Action Committee on Violence Against Women (METRAC), and Black Creek Community Health Centre received support from the Law Foundation of Ontario to develop a culturally-adapted Family Group Conferencing model for ACB families. 

The cultural adaptation builds from standard FGC models to meet the distinct needs of ACB children, youth and families. Early evaluations of the ACB-FGC demonstrate that families feel the intervention is meeting their needs and that their voices are being heard. At the same time, the evaluation demonstrates that the process is improving the working relationship between ACB families and their children’s aid society workers.

As of April 2021, the ACB-FGC model is now being implemented through Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre and with Children’s Aid Society of Toronto.