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Evaluating Family Group conferences in Child Protection in the UK

Brown, Louise
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) American Humane Association Reprint from the 1999 Family Group Decision making National Roundtable Conference Summary of Proceedings.

The purpose of this paper is to disseminate information about a research project taking place in the UK which aims to evaluate the outcomes associated with the use of Family Group Conferences in child protection. The study aims to build upon previous research in this area and to contribute to the growing knowledge about family group decision making. In 1998, the University of Bath, UK and University of Portsmouth, UK were asked by Wiltshire Social Services Department t ohelp evaluate its family Group Conference Project. The project has been running for three years and has successfully used FGCs to divert families away from the traditional, more professionally dominated child protection system. Funding has since been secured to undertake this service-led evaluation, which will compare the outcomes of FGCs for children and families with thei outcomes of the traditional child protection system. This paper describes the background to the study, the design and choice of outcome measures for assessing; “the child’s safety”; “the child’s welfare” and the impact of FGCs on social support networks.


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