Books and Articles

Below are some books that are required reading.

Family Group Conference

Developing shared knowledge: family group conferencing as a means of negotiating power in the child welfare system. Schmid, Jeanette Elizabeth, and Pollack, Shoshana Practice 21(3), September 2009: 175-188. Discusses the potential of Family Group Conferencing (FGC) for negotiating the complexities of power in child welfare. Argues that FGC allows a holistic, culturally connected, explicit, clear presentation of the professionals' information that creates space for families' knowledge and inhibits the use of information in an oppressive way.

Family group conferencing and child protection mediation: essential tools for prioritizing family engagement in child welfare cases. Olson, Kelly Browne Family Court Review 47(1), 2009: 53-68. Examines how FGC helps professionals to focus on family and community strengths, encourages family engagement, and provides targeted case plans for families and timely, permanent placements for children. It explores how courts and agencies use these interventions to empower families to contribute to resolutions in ways that are not possible in traditional litigation processes. Discusses how these processes help children and families by providing forums where families are allowed to make informed choices and take an active role in creating plans for their future.

Family group conferences. Marsh, Peter Highlight 248, May 2009: [1-4]. Calls for the extended family to be more involved in making child welfare decisions. Looks at the use of Family Group Conferences, family-led decision-making meetings in which professionals provide information to the family members to help them make a plan that is focused on the child. Considers the law and policy; research; involving the family; child protection, crime and education; plans; and, cost effectiveness.

'Everyone started shouting': making connections between the process of family group conferences and family therapy practice. Holland, Sally and Rivett, Mark British Journal of Social Work 38(1), January 2008: 21-38. This article evaluates the process of family group conferences focusing on communications between family members during the meetings. The results of this qualitative study are discussed in relation to similarities and differences between family group conferences and family therapy sessions. It suggests that family group conference coordinators could look at how to manage and prepare family members for the potential expressions of emotions and disclosures that might arise, something which successfully works in family therapy.

Family group conferences: where next? Policies and practices for the future. Ashley, Cathy and Nixon, Paul (eds) London: Family Rights Group, 2007 ISBN: 1871515459 A series of essays from policy, research and practice perspectives, aimed at providing practitioners, managers and policy makers with ideas on how best to deliver and develop family group conference practices. Chapters cover family decision making in a changing context; working towards an effective agency mandate for family group conferences; the provision of family group conferences for ethnic minority groups; families experiences; children and young people's participation; implementation, research and practice; practice developments; education and youth justice family group conferences; family decision making to plan for safety in domestic violence; and taking family group conferences forward at a local level.

Research review: family group decision-making: a promising practice in need of more programme theory and research. Crampton, David Child and Family Social Work 12(2), May 2007: 202-9. This article reviews the literature on family group conferencing. It looks at the child welfare outcomes of family group conferencing, and which families are offered family group conferencing. It proposes future directions for practice and research and hopes to move the discussion of family group conferencing from a promising practice to an evidence based practice.

Children's views of family group conferences. Bell, Margaret and Wilson, Kate British Journal of Social Work 36(4), June 2006: 671-81. This article describes research into the experiences of children whose families participated in the family group conference pilot project. The results showed that they mostly welcomed being consulted and having the chance to work together with their families on issues without the attentions of social services.

Mainstream or margin? The current use of family group conferences in child welfare practice in the UK. Brown, Louise Child and Family Social Work 8(4), November 2003: 331-40. Examines the extent to which family group conferences have developed and become enmeshed into social work practice since their introduction into the UK by the Family Rights Group a decade ago. Presents the findings of two surveys undertaken in 1999 and 2001 which reveal the areas of practice within which family group conferences are being used, the size and capacity of projects, and why some councils are hesitant to adopt the model.

Promoting the participation rights of children and young people in family group conferences. Horan, Hilary and Dalrymple, Jane Practice 15(2), 2003: 5-14. Describes the experiences of a Barnardos Family Group Conference Project in Wiltshire, in order to identify the benefits of advocacy support. Argues that all children and young people involved in conferences should have the right of access to an independent advocate to empower them and allow them to participate.

Social workers' attitudes towards family group conferences in Sweden and the UK. Sundell, Knut, Vinnerljung, Bo and Ryburn, Murray Child and Family Social Work 6(4), 2001: 327-36. Findings of a study which looked at attitudes towards and actual referrals to family group conferences amongst 219 social workers from 18 local authorities in Sweden and the UK. Results reveal an overwhelmingly positive attitude towards family group conferences in both countries.

Empowering practice? A critical appraisal of the family group conference approach. Lupton, Carol and Nixon, Paul Bristol: Policy Press, 1999 ISBN: 1861341490 Examines the nature and meaning of 'empowerment' in child welfare and protection, using the family group conference approach to decision making as an example. The empowerment potential of family group conferences is critically assessed and the implications for professionals, their agencies, and the children and families is examined. Contents: The dilemmas of empowerment; Partnership & empowerment in children's services; Lessons from New Zealand; Empowering professionals; International perspectives; Empowerment in process; Assessing outcomes in child welfare; Empowering outcomes?; Conclusion.

 Family group conferences: putting principles into practice. Wiffin, Jane Child Care in Practice 5(4), 1999: 365-71. The author, a Family Rights Group Policy Advisor, discusses the principles and practice of the family group conference. Also outlines the five stages in convening a family group conference: referral; preparation for the conference; the information giving stage; private family time; agreeing, reviewing and monitoring the plan.


Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice: Ideas, Values, Debates ~ Gerry Johnstone September 2001) Price: £16.99

The Little Book of Restorative Justice (Little Books of Justice  & Peace building) ~ Howard Zehr (Paperback - December 2002) Price: £2.64 RECOMMENDED

Restorative Justice for Juveniles: Conferencing, Mediation and Circles ~ Allison Morris (Editor), Gabrielle Maxwell (Editor) August 1993 Price: £12.59 RECOMMENDED

Restorative Justice: Ideas, Values, Debates ~Gerry Johnstone, Willan Publishing, September 2001Price: £16.99

Just Schools: A Whole School Approach to Restorative Justice  ~Guy Masters (Foreword), Belinda Hopkins Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Paperback - November 18, 2003 Price: £19.95 RECOMMENDED

Criminology, Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice ~Kieran McEvoy (Editor), Tim Newburn (Editor) Palgrave Macmillan November 2003 Price: £45.42 RECOMMENDED

Critical Issues in Restorative Justice ~Open University, et al Sage Publications Ltd May 2003 Price: £19.99

Youth Offending and Restorative Justice: Implementing Reform in Youth Justice Adam Crawford ~Tim Newburn Willan Publishing March 2003 Price: £18.99

A Restorative Justice Reader: Texts, Sources and Context  ~Gerry Johnstone Willan Publishing June 2003 Price: £26.00

Critical Issues in Restorative Justice ~Howard Zehr (Editor), Barb Toews (Editor)Criminal Justice Press June 2004 Price: £24.99 RECOMMENDED


Leeds Family Valued Evaluation Report July 2017