Australian research favours Family Group Conference

24 December 2012

A new evaluation in Australia has provided strong evidence that the Family Group Conference has positive outcomes for the families and professionals when used with Youth Offending and Care Proceedings. These outcomes included:

  • high levels of satisfaction among family members and professionals with the way conferences had been run, particularly with the way in which Facilitators managed and overcome challenging communication barriers and safety concerns;
  • the conference had resulted in a more positive working relationship between Community Services and the family, particularly the extended family;
  • the majority of families referred (90%) proceeded to conference and resulted in the development of a Family Plan none of which were rejected by Community Services;
  • high levels of satisfaction with the content of Family Plans developed at conferences, including a large proportion of respondents to the online survey reporting that the plans addressed the bottom lines identified by Community Services (94%), had realistic goals and a clear course of action (100%), and reflected the best interests of the children (89%)
  • evidence that, among the small number of Family Plans for which information was available (n=9), all but one had resulted in more than 50 percent of the identified actions being implemented by the time of review and no Family Plan wa s assessed as having failed to achieve any of the identified goals.

Read the full report