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Merkel-Holguin, Lisa and Pennell, Joan and Rideout, Patricia and Bird, Cornelius and Harty, Sheila (2002). Bringing Families to the Table: A Comparative Guide to Family Meetings in Child Welfare Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Social Policy, Center for Community Partnerships in Child Welfare. Downloaded 9 December 2004.

As the authors of this paper remark, the practice of including families in the decision-making process in child welfare cases has grown significantly in the past decade. There are several distinct models of practice that use family-centered principles in combination with family group meetings. The goal in these models is to bring families xe2x80x9cto the tablexe2x80x9d to discuss issues, to maximize their strengths, to solve problems, and to support each other with respect to the welfare of their children. The various models for family meetings share certain common elements; at the same time, they also possess features that distinguish each from the others. The variety of models can be confusing for child welfare practitioners, family members, and community participants in terms of determining which model to employ for family meetings. The aim of the authors in this paper then is to provide a comparative guide to the different models so the relevant parties can judge what model of family meeting to use. Toward this end, the authors provide a descriptive outline on various approaches to family meetings xe2x80x93 their commonalities, their core elements, and their unique features.


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