Source: (1999) (Canadian) Department of Justice.

This discussion paper is concerned with the potential for using family group conferencing to respond to serious behavior by children under twelve. In the context of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, there is a commitment to consider the needs of young children under the age of criminal responsibility and to develop a coordinated approach. Family group conferencing is a form of collectiv e decision-maiking and conflict resolution which has been developed over the past ten years in a number of countries. It is seen as innovative, powerful, effective, and empowering for those involved. It provides for accountability for actions. It has been used for a widening range of situations including young offenders, child care and protection, and family violence and abuse. It can respond to the particular needs of individuals, whether victims or offenders and their families and communities, in a way which is sensitive to culture and specific histories and circumstances.