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Family Group Conferencing as a First Choice: Empowerment Versus Intervention

van Pagee, Robert
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) Paper from “Building a Global Alliance for Restorative Practices and Family Empowerment, Part 2,” IIRP Fifth International Conference on Conferencing, Circles and other Restorative Practices, August 5-7, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Downloaded 29 October 2004.

Daily practice with family group conferencing (FGC) in the Netherlands demonstrates that citizens, who are energetic and creative by nature, are willing and able to take responsibility for their own lives and for repairing wrongdoing and its effects. Experience with this practice to date contradicts the limited expectations of official agencies and organizations. The positive results of this restorative practice contrast with its still limited practice in the Netherlands: only 500 conferences have been held in four years. Social science has also paid little attention to the possibilities of restorative practices, compared to the attention that has been paid to traditional criminal justice practices. The notion that families can have a leading role in repairing what has happened is an unusual idea in contemporary society. This article is a plea for a more intensive use of restorative meetings as a model that results in supporting and reinforcing the social structure of our society. (excerpt)


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