IIRP's sister organization and model restorative practices program, Community Service Foundation (CSF) is a nonprofit organization serving delinquent and dependent youth in eastern Pennsylvania since 1977. Recently, CSF completed this report on its FGDM program, which is highlighted on American Humane's "What's New" in FGDM web page.
First, here's a brief description of Family Group Decision Making from the FGDM Outcome Report:
What is a Family Group Decision Making Conference?
A family group decision making conference is a restorative approach to problem solving that involves children, family members, extended family, friends, interested individuals, professionals and invited community resources. A formal meeting is conducted that includes the child and all of the interested people who can support a plan concerning the child. During the meeting, the entire family group works together to create a plan that will be supported by the courts. These plans call for the family group to take responsibility for the child/family in need, with community resources in place to make this possible. It is important to define family loosely, including immediate family, family friends, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, clergy and neighbors. FGDM is a family-centered, culturally competent, strengths-oriented and community-based approach. It recognizes that families have the most information about themselves to make well-informed decisions.
From July 1, 2009 to October 31, 2010, CSF held 79 FGDM conferences, attended by 602 total participants, an average of 7.62 participants per conference. Utilizing (Pennsylvania’s) state-sanctioned FGDM survey, CSF queried participants just after the conferences ended. The following three survey statements elicited remarkably high response rates:
These positive responses indicate CSF’s considerable dedication to the FGDM process, as well as a significant level of family engagement — a major goal of FGDM and CSF.