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Coordinator in the Family Council

Family group conference

The family council is a procedure for activating the family system to develop and implement individually suitable solutions to existing family issues on the basis of a care formulation by child and youth welfare services. It is positioned between civil society and the authorities and strengthens civic responsibility and commitment.

07/03/ – 14/06/2024
Free places
Certificate of attendance

Completed studies or vocational training and professional experience

Participation fee:

1,490 euros

Portrait Querformat Hubert Höllmüller

The family council is a real game-changer: Within the clear framework of child protection, it restores the competence and right of family systems to solve their own challenges. This is active participation at eye level, something that social work has been demanding for decades. Ask the family!


FH-Prof. Mag. Dr. Hubert Höllmüller, M. Sc.
Scientific management

At a glance

Back in the 1990s, the New Zealand legislature introduced a radical change to help planning for youth welfare offices and family courts: the Family Group Conference (FGC). As a result, an unprecedented level of involvement of children, young people and parents in their support planning was realised. The legally enshrined administrative procedure guarantees autonomy for the affected parties in developing their own plans. Specialists are not present during the planning phases, but agree to the plan. FGC thrives on involving as many people as possible in the help process. In educational support, it is a circular and self-empowering alternative to help plan discussions.

Key aspects

  • Concept of the family council
  • Further group conferencing models
  • Ethical aspects
  • System analysis of child and youth welfare
  • Practical exercise
  • Abstinence from solutions and professionalism


  • Theoretical and practice-orientated inputs
  • Work on case studies and participants' topics
  • Plenary discussions, small group work, exercises, role play

Target group

Specialists and managers in social work and the psychosocial support field


  • Empowerment
  • Resource-orientation
  • Participation
  • Process
  • Milestones
  • Follow-up advice

Module 1 provides answers to the questions:

How does a family council work? Where does the model come from? Where is it already being used? Why should we trust families to master their challenges themselves?

  • Guiding principle of child welfare
  • Help plan procedure
  • Assessment
  • System culture: paternalism, expertocracy, pathologisation

Module 2 provides answers to the following questions:

How can the best interests of the child be understood? How can child and youth welfare be understood as a system? Which system-theoretical models are helpful? What is the guiding culture of child and youth welfare? What does child and youth welfare have to do with democracy?

  • Case studies on the formulation of care
  • Building blocks
  • Teaching the method
  • Understanding the role of coordination

Module 3 provides answers to the following questions:

Why "care" and not "problem"? Why is the best solution your own solution? What remains of professionalism if we do not specify the solution and do not even suggest it?

  • Initial situation of a family council
  • Role descriptions
  • Acting out the process
  • Reflection (final written reflection)

Module 4 provides answers to the following questions:

How authentic can a role play be? Does it make the family council more understandable?

Dates & Schedule

32 seminar hours

Seminar times (online)
Thu/Fri: 3 – 7 pm

Module 1 07/ – 08/03/
Module 2 11/ – 12/04/
Module 3 16/ – 17/05/

Seminar times (on campus)
Fri: 09:30 am – 5 pm

Module 4 14/06/        


Registration & Information

ZEW – Further Education Unit

Room 1.10


Anna Scheller

Anna Scheller

Coordination & Organisation ZEW