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Pennell, Joan (2004). Should His and Her Sides of the Family be Invited to the FGC? American Humane FGDM Issues in Brief. Downloaded 7 December 2004.

A principle of restorative justice is that, as far as possible, the conflict or harm that exists between people should be resolved or repaired, often through direct interaction. This is one of the principles that undergird practices such as family group conferencing (FGC) and family group decision-making (FGDM) in child welfare cases. Moreover, as Joan Pennell writes, it is generally assumed that concerns can be resolved and peaceful solutions found by bringing together a larger group to address conflict and harm. Yet, she also points out, cases of family violence seriously test this move to enlarge the circle for family group conferencing. In this regard, Pennell discusses the challenges, risks, and potential of bringing in both sides of a family in a group conferencing process in situations involving child welfare and domestic violence. To illustrate, she highlights findings from FGC projects in North Carolina (USA) and Newfoundland and Labrador (Canada).


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