Researching the applicability of family group conferencing in public mental health care

Gert Schout, Gideon de Jong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Since the introduction of Family Group Conferences (FGCs) in the Netherlands, there has been a steady growth in conferences being organised each year. Government policy emphasises the importance of empowering families to strengthen their ability to take responsibility for their own well-being. A recently adopted amendment in the Dutch Civil Code reflects this commitment and designates FGC as good practice. However, there is little knowledge on the application of FGCs in mental health care, let alone in a setting even more specific, such as public mental health care (PMHC). Clients in PMHC often have a limited network. The starting point of this study is the assumption that conferences promote involvement, expand and restore relationships and generate support. Over the next two years, we will research the applicability of FGCs in PMHC by evaluating forty case studies. The aim of our study is to provide an answer to the question of whether Family Group Conferencing is an effective tool to generate social support, to prevent coercion and to promote social integration in PMHC. Although making contact and gaining trust is a goal of PMHC, it is an aim to study whether FGCs can elevate or replace the work of professionals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)796-802
JournalBritish journal of social work
Volume43
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • family group conference
  • family group conferencing
  • public mental health care
  • underserved groups
  • case study
  • participatory research

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