Source: (2003) Paper presented at Building a Global Alliance for Restorative Practices and Family Empowerment, Fourth International Conference on Conferencing, Circles and other Restorative Practices, set for 28-30 August, 2003. Downloaded 11 September 2003.Karin Gunderson begins this paper by pointing to serious problems public child welfare agencies in the United States have in protecting the children they are mandated to serve. Against this background, restorative practices like family group conferencing are attracting attention and gaining in use. Such conferencing is not a panacea, but its benefits are well documented, claims Gunderson. To substantiate this, Gunderson explains the idea of family group conferencing and examines a family group conferencing process and its outcomes in the state of Washington.