This innovative and timely book examines the nature and meaning of 'empowerment' in child welfare and protection, using the family group conference (FGC) approach to decision making as an example. In response to the growing clamour for 'evidence-based practice', the book addresses the central question of how the idea of empowerment can be operationalised and evaluated.
One of the aims of FGCs is to empower children and their families by enabling them more effectively to participate in the decision-making process and by affording them greater control over the outcomes of that process. Empowering practice? critically assesses the available evidence on the empowerment potential of FGCs and examines the implications of the approach for professionals, their agencies and the children and families involved.
Empowering practice? is essential reading for academics and professionals working in a wide range of health, education and social care areas.
Carol Lupton, Social Services Research and Information Unit, University of Portsmouth and Paul Nixon, Hampshire County Council
Contents: The dilemmas of empowerment; Partnership and empowerment in children's services; Lessons from New Zealand; Empowering professionals?; International perspectives; Empowerment in process?; Assessing outcomes in child welfare Martin Stevens; Empowering outcomes?; Conclusion.