Source: (2004) Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare. 31(1): 137-154.

As formal systems for the protection of children have evolved in this country [USA], certain barriers to achieving justice within the child protection system have emerged concomitantly. Specifically, these barriers involve ambiguous definitions of abuse and the appearance of social inequality and bias within the child protection system. One means of surmounting these barriers to justice is family group conferencing (FGC). Support for this assertion comes from the integration of the restorative justice model and procedural justice theory. When applied to the practice of FGCs in child protection, the integration of these theoretical perspectives provides a strong rationale for the use of FGC and a theoretical framework from which the outcomes and causal mechanisms of FGCs may be evaluated. Author’s abstract.