Source: (1996) In: J. Hudson, et al. (eds.), Family Group Conferences: Perspectives on Policy and Practice. Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press, pp. 1-16.The first statutory formulation of the family group conferences (FGCs) model was in New Zealand in 1989. However, participatory processes and principles evolved at the same time in England and Oregon. Currently, FGCs are used in many countries as a preferred decision-making forum for youthful offenders and children requiring care and protection. Despite differences among jurisdictions, several common themes are apparent. FGCs are more likely than traditional forms of dispute resolution to give effective voice to those who are traditionally disadvantaged. Unresolved issues are discussed.