What happens at a Family Group Conference (FGC)?
The FGC coordinator will direct the meeting. The police will present a summary of facts. You will then be given a chance to respond by admitting or denying the charge.
I don’t agree to committing the charge:
If you feel that you have not committed the crime that the police say you have, you can deny the police charge. It is a good idea to get advice from a lawyer before taking this step. If you deny the charge, but the police still think you committed the crime, your case may be referred to the Youth Court.
I agree to committing the charge:
If you agree to committing the charge, FGC gives you a chance to put things right. Everyone attending the FGC will discuss a plan for what you should do to make up for what you have done. This could include an apology, paying money to the victim, working for the victim or the community, a donation to charity, a curfew, counselling training programs and more. Solutions can be creative.
If everyone at the FGC cannot agree on a plan, the FGC ends without your case being resolved. The police could decide to refer your case to the Youth Court.
If everyone at the FGC agrees to a plan, then you’ll be given a timeframe to complete the plan. If you don’t complete the plan, the police could refer your case to the Youth Court. When you complete the plan, the police should close your case, and you will not have a conviction on your record for the incident.
If the case was sent to FGC from the Youth Court, the judge will need to approve the plan first.