Experiences with family group decision making in rural Ontario




Sherwin, Carrie-Lynn

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This thesis explores the alternative dispute resolution method of family group decision making that is used in child welfare in Ontario. Using a qualitative case study, my research sought to answer the question: What are the experiences of caregivers who have participated in family group decision making in the District of Algoma? I examined the legislative framework, policy directive and guiding policies surrounding the use of FGDM in child welfare in the District of Algoma in rural Ontario. I also collected data through interviews with five participants and transcribed and analyzed using thematic analysis. The themes that emerged relate to the process of FGDM empowering families, the outcomes for children, and the ability for families to implement and maintain long-term plans for children. These themes and sub themes are discussed along with the implications for policy and practice and directions for future research.



dispute resolution, child welfare, family group decision making, family group conferencing, empowerment, outcomes for children, implementing plans for children, mediation