Source: (2003) Child and Family Social Work. 8: 331â€“340.
A decade has passed since family group conferences were initially
introduced into the UK by Family Rights Group. Ten years on, this
paper examines the extent to which family group conferences have
developed and become embedded into current social work practice.
Despite the initial interest by social work practitioners and the picture
often painted of a growing radical movement, the degree to
which family group conferencing has become part of mainstream
practice has until now remained fairly anecdotal. A number of difficulties have been identified with implementing the model, including
fitting it into an existing system and the challenge it poses to professionals
to hand over power. Two surveys, the first undertaken in 1999
and the second in 2001, describe the current use of the model in the
UK by Councils with Social Services Responsibilities (Councils). The
surveys reveal the areas of practice within which family group conferences
are being used, the size and capacity of projects and why
some Councils have adopted the model whilst others remain hesitant.
It concludes by considering why family group conferences remain on
the margins of practice. Author’s abstract.
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