Source: (2002) Juvenile and Family Court Journal. 53(4): 43-48.

After arguing that child welfare and protection services are constantly changing and improving, the authors describe Miami’s Family Group Decision-Making Conferencing (FGDMC) project that evolved from Miami Model Court’s participation as a National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Model Court. Contending that the voluntary FGDMC project works well with Miami’s multi-ethnic and multi-cultural population, the authors maintain that FGDMC has helped the Model Court achieve early permanency decisions because it has empowered progressive parents to seek and achieve reunification. Through FGDMC family focused interventions, designed to build and strengthen the natural care giving system for children, family members and other support persons identified by the family meet together to discuss child permanency cases and reach agreements and plans of action for the care and safety of children. Evaluating Miami’s FGDMC project, the authors found that such conference projects are effectively assisting families with identifying their strengths, resolving problems, and becoming powerful decision-makers regarding the well-being of their children. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org