Source: (1996) In: J. Hudson, A. Morris, G. Maxwell, and B. Galaway (eds.), Family Group Conferences: Perspectives on Policy and Practice. Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press, pp. 206-220.

This paper reports preliminary findings from the Family Group Decision-Making Project, a trial implementation of family group conferencing focusing on family violence in three culturally distinct regions of the Canadian Maritimes. The authors demonstrate how family group conferences can challenge child welfare thinking that focuses on the individual failings of caregivers by promoting a communal sense of responsibility for child and family well being. Results from the first 20 conferences are discussed, describing the opening process, the standards for caring established, family shame displayed, and the support system for caring confrontation.