Using Family Group Conferencing to Assist Immigrant Children and Families in the Child Welfare System

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American Humane Association

Family group conferencing (FGC) recognizes the benefits of gathering together and empowering a child's extended family and community - tapping into a collective knowledge, history and strength when developing plans, identifying resources and forging partnerships in the best interest of a child.

This paper considers key factors in using FGC with citizen children whose families traverse American borders and/or who may be fearful of exposing themselves to U.S. agencies. The case study of an American-born youth raised by his father in Mexico after his mother's death, and who was  abandoned in the U.S. at age 10 by his father's deportation illustrates the opportunities, hurdles and obstacles inherent in cross-border FGC's. Free, five pages. (800) 227-4645,