Empowering Practice? A Critical Appraisal of the Family Group Conference Approach

Empowering Practice? A Critical Appraisal of the Family Group Conference Approach

Empowering Practice? A Critical Appraisal of the Family Group Conference Approach

Empowering Practice? A Critical Appraisal of the Family Group Conference Approach

Synopsis

This innovative and timely book examines the nature and meaning of 'empowerment' in child welfare and protection, using the family group conference (FGC) approach to decision making as an example. In response to the growing clamour for 'evidence-based practice', the book addresses the central question of how the idea of empowerment can be operationalised and evaluated.One of the aims of FGCs is to empower children and their families by enabling them more effectively to participate in the decision-making process and by affording them greater control over the outcomes of that process. Empowering practice? critically assesses the available evidence on the empowerment potential of FGCs and examines the implications of the approach for professionals, their agencies and the children and families involved.Empowering practice? is essential reading for academics and professionals working in a wide range of health, education and social care areas.

Excerpt

This book is about the family group conference (FGC) approach to decision making in child welfare and protection. One of the central aims of FGCs is to empower children and their families via a process which enables their effective participation in decision making and by outcomes over which they have more control. Given growing international interest in FGCs, it is important that their development is underpinned by good quality research. The central aim of the book is to assess critically the available evidence on the empowerment potential of the FGC approach. However, empowerment is an extremely slippery concept. Because of its appeal across the political spectrum, it is particularly important to be clear about the specific expectations and assumptions by which empowerment initiatives are underpinned. This book is therefore also more broadly about the meaning of empowerment in the contemporary child welfare context. In the face of the general clamour for ‘evidencebased practice’ it addresses the difficult question of how empowerment can be operationalised and its achievement assessed.

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