Source: (1996) Research Bulletin No. 6/96. Brisbane, Australia: Queensland Parliamentary Library, Publications and Resources Section. Downloaded 23 February 2005.The treatment of juvenile offenders generates community concern, professional debate and a variety of public administration approaches to what is a genuinely complex and sensitive issue. Family conferencing is an innovative procedure which has added to the available response options in a number of jurisdictions, after initial success in New Zealand. Its objective is to involve the offender’s family and others in their support network, victim(s) and their supporters, and relevant professionals including police, in resolving, in an informal setting, how best to redress the effects of an offence. If successful, the conference avoids a court hearing and most if not all of its negative consequences. This Research Bulletin outlines the development of the concept in New Zealand and its adoption in a range of jurisdictions, particularly in Australia. An outline of the strengths and limitations tht have been identified is also provided. Author's abstract.