Source: (2007) Occasional Paper Series. Australian Centre for Child Protection. University of South Australia.

Family Group Conferences were first legislated for in New Zealand in 1989 and since that time have captured the imagination of professionals and academics throughout the world with their capacity to involve families and communities in a collaborative approach to addressing child welfare concerns. Child protection systems in Australia, as in many other countries, have subsequently introduced conferencing programs. The first trial in Australia was initiated in Victoria in 1992 by a non-government agency (Ban, 1996), and trials in other states soon followed. Fifteen years later, a question worth asking is to what extent conferencing has become part of child protection practice in Australia’s states and territories. Child protection policy is under state jurisdiction in Australia, which means that adoption of an innovation like conferencing is likely to vary widely. This diversity is explored in this report through the available literature on conferencing programs, but also draws on interviews with practitioners in each state and territory. (excerpt)