Conferencing in New Zealand Child Protection

To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... prevention of members of the extended family from taking on legal parenting roles; and placement of Māori children in non-Māori foster families and institutions (Connolly, 2004;Doolan & Phillips, 2008). In 1985, The Māori Advisory Unit Study-requested by NZ's welfare authorities after recognizing state practices had contributed negatively to the well-being of Māori families and communities-reported on the institutional racism experienced by the Māori; the disproportionally high numbers of Māori families in child welfare and justice systems; the lack of involvement of Indigenous families and communities in decision-making concerning their well-being; and the importance of reclaiming traditional Māori family rearing and problem resolution practices to preserve the unity of families and heal communities (Peri et al.,1985). ...
... As the excerpt describes, FGC broadens the Western definition of family, from that of the mother(s) and/or the father(s) to whanau. In doing so, it expands the child's circle of care, to prevent children's placement outside kin and from becoming detached from their family, friends, communities, and familiar environments that provide them with sense of belonging and well-being (Doolan & Phillips, 2008). Unlike mainstream systems, FGC operates from the principle that even families who find themselves in a state of dysfunction, are better positioned to offer realistic and sustainable solutions to their problems than professionals (e.g., social workers, psychologists, counsellors, foster parents). ...
Full-text available
Canadian child welfare systems can be neatly mapped onto individualistic conceptions of selfhood. This individualistic stance is ingrained in child welfare’s framing of child maltreatment, language, and interventions as connected to parents’ unwillingness or inability to make proper and responsible choices. What follows is a series of adversarial and punitive attitudes and practices that normalize defamilialization and emancipation of children and youth from their families, without taking into account circumstances that precipitate the involvement of child welfare systems in families’ lives and the narrow and/or non-existent avenues for self and social improvement available to them prior to involvement. Based on a previously articulated critique of selfhood, this dissertation reaffirms the need for ontological reformulation concerning the nature of selves, offering the communal self as an alternative. This communally constituted, relational, and historical and socio-culturally situated concept of self, acknowledges the interplay of agency and context from a critical lens. It aligns with Indigenous notions of self-in- relation and Indigenist scholarship and advocacy that for decades have urged child welfare stakeholders for more broadly defined notions of selfhood and family. The communal self also grants a space wherein non-Indigenous child welfare stakeholders can ethically position themselves and engage in ally-ship without disingenuously trying to occupy Indigenous perspectives. Through an exploratory qualitative study of the experiences of families and mentors involved with an Indigenous, community-led and based Family Group Conferencing child welfare program in Winnipeg, Manitoba (MB), this dissertation goes beyond theorical considerations, providing a concrete example of the promise of child welfare interventions offered from a communal perspective of selfhood. Mentors, parents, and community members voices’ enliven the Tupi term that precedes the title of this dissertation, apoema, or “the one who sees far”, compelling us to see beyond the immediacy of what surrounds us, to conceive of ways to recast a more harmonious future, not only for Indigenous but for all peoples.
... The legislation was based on principles of children's rights, family group responsibility, cultural respect, and government-community partnership (Hassall, 1996). It came at a time in which the public strongly questioned government and professional interference in the lives of families (Doolan and Phillips, 2000). ...
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.