Family Group Conferencing: New Directions in Community-Centered Child and Family Practice

Critics of empowerment models have charged that families who become the subjects of child abuse investigations are too dysfunctional to contribute in a meaningful way to making decisions about how to protect the children in their own families. Apart from its usefulness as a reference manual, this book shows that family members have, in fact, worked together with mandated authorities to find lasting solutions for problems associated with keeping children safe. It also presents current information on related approaches, such as community conferences, circles, and wrap-around services used in child and family welfare settings of various kinds. Such approaches entail a shift in assumptions about the way child welfare services are planned and delivered, away from models that emphasize pathology and toward those in which an ecological understanding of the families and social networks involved in grappling with the problems is sought.