Source: (1998) XIX Youth Law News 3. May/June. Oakland, CA: National Center for Youth Law. Downloaded 26 January 2005.

As McElroy and Goodsoe observe, child welfare policy has reflected a tension between child safety (removing at-risk children from their homes) and family preservation (keeping at-risk children in their homes). Over the years laws and policies have swung back and forth between these two emphases and their somewhat divergent aims. Amid this tension, McElroy and Goodsoe discuss family group decision making (FGDM) as a category or umbrella for alternative approaches to the “child safety vs. family preservationâ€? dichotomy. Under this category or umbrella are models such as family group conferencing, family unity meeting, family decision meeting, and family conferences. With all of this in mind, McElroy and Goodsoe look at the background of FGDM, cases appropriate for FGDM, the FGDM process, and strengths and concerns with respect to FGDM.

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