Source: (2004) Paper presented at the Third Conference of the European Forum for Victim-Offender Mediation and Restorative Justice, “Restorative Justice in Europe: Where are we heading?", Budapest, Hungary, 14-16 October. Downloaded 24 May 2005.

The development and implementation of Family Group Conferences (FGC) in the Netherlands derives its inspiration from the interesting changes in the child welfare system in New Zealand. There, in 1989, the management of problems with children and families, and the solutions to those problems, were regulated in the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act. Under the act, before a professional intervenes, the family has the legal right to make a plan and decide for themselves what should happen. This law addresses the government's obligation to protect children when their own family fails to do so, but also the government's limitations in carrying out that obligation. The government is greatly disadvantaged, compared to the system of family and friends, when it comes to real protection of children and creating a better prospect for the long term. (excerpt)