Source: (1999) USA: San Joaquin County Human Services Agency. Downloaded 8 December 2004.The Human Services Agency of San Joaquin County in California employs a family conferencing model to improve the care and protection of children. This approach functions by building partnerships between the family, community, and government. The San Joaquin family conferencing model roots in the belief that the best care and protection for children can be achieved by joining the strengths of families with community and agency support systems. This document provides a guide for family conferencing practice and procedure. The guide contains a history of this approach in San Joaquin County; a definition of what is meant by xe2x80x9cfamilyxe2x80x9d and who constitutes a childxe2x80x99s family; the importance of the family; principles of family conferencing; the referral process; the family conferencing process; and the roles of participants.