Source: (2003) Together. The Family Group Conference Network Newsletter. Summer 2004:10-12.

Janet’s Story is a good illustration of how we have been reluctant to include wider family in decision making where domestic violence is an issue. The most common reaction to involving family in an FGC in a domestic violence (DV) situation is that it would be too dangerous. This is generally based on an assumption that because one member of the family is violent, the whole family are either violent themselves or willing to overlook it. In Janet’s case, the family had distanced themselves from her and the children, partly because Janet did not want them around so that they could not see what her partner’s behaviour was doing to the family, but also to protect themselves from his violent behaviour. However, their commitment to Janet and her children at and following the FGC was tremendous. We clearly need to capture that commitment and support before families lose their children to the care system. But how can family group conferences be used effectively so that extended family and friends can plan to keep women and children safe? (excerpt)

Read Full Article