Source: (1996) In: J. Hudson, et al. (eds.), Family Group Conferences: Perspectives on Policy and Practice. Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press, pp. 221-234.
Family group conferences are being increasingly adopted as preferred decision-making forum for young offenders and young people in need of care and protection. FGCs reflect and emphasis on the participation of families, young offenders and victims, cultural sensitivity and consensus decision-making and a capacity to be translated into diverse social contexts and jurisdictions. FGCs have demonstrated cultural robustness, effectiveness with dysfunctional families, provided family empowerment and child safety, and especially empowering of women and children. Unresolved are appropriate agency management of FGCs, appropriate criteria for referral, preventing professional takeover, and accommodating cultural differences. The authors discus restorative versus criminal justice values, limitations in available service provision, and ensuring continued funding.
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