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Family group conferences in youth justice.

Mutter, Robin
June 4, 2015

Source: (2008) Health and Social Care in the Community. 16 (3):262–270.

This paper discusses part of an evaluation of the ‘Family Group Conference
(FGC) Project for Young People Who Offend’ within a large social services
department (‘Exshire’). The evaluation covers all 30 family group
conferences during a 15-month period from September 2000 to December
2001. This article presents the findings relating to young people along with
changes in their psychosocial profile using a modified version of the
Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ; Goodman 1997). The views
of all participants were positive, with the majority saying they would
recommend FGCs to others. FGC was felt by most participants to have
brought about changes in the way young people view the world, partly by
helping them to accept the reality of offending in a way that had not
previously been possible. It provided victims with a unique opportunity to
become involved in the youth justice system, recognising them as key
stakeholders as a result of a crime. This process left most victims with a sense
of satisfaction and resolution. Average SDQ scores were lower following
FGC for the 12 young people who responded to follow-up interviews.
Although there are a number of restorative justice projects using FGC in
youth justice, we believe this project is among the first in the UK to establish
the use of the New Zealand model with its emphasis on ‘private family time’
as an ongoing established service. Although the data were collected before
2002, the project contains unique features which we believe should be
brought to the attention of the wider academic and practice community
given that FGC is still a fairly new, unexplored and under-evaluated
phenomenon in youth justice. There is currently a need for more research
looking at the use of FGC in relation to young offenders. (author’s abstract)


AbstractEvaluation/StudyReportRJ and the WorkplaceRJ in SchoolsRJ OfficeTeachers and Students
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