Source: (2004) Intercourse, PA: Good Books.
Family group conferencing is a decision-making process that began in New Zealand and has been used in a variety of forms around the world. In response to an overloaded juvenile justice system and concerns of the Maori population, the New Zealand legislature passed the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act in 1989. Family group conferences are at the core of the juvenile justice system. Seven goals and seven guiding principles encourage restorative practice. MacRae and Zehr describe the roles and process of a FGC, from the perspective of a Youth Justice Coordinator who facilitates. The success of FGCs in New Zealand, measured by drops in youth crime, is attributed to effective conferencing, close cooperation between police and the coordinator, and community-based strategic collaboration focused on addressing root causes.