The value of recognition theory to Family Group Conferencing and child-care and protection

Mary Mitchell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Much has been written over the past thirty years within the international social work literature on Family Group Conferencing as a process of decision-making. Yet the theories which frame our understanding of how Family Group Conferencing contributes towards family outcomes are less distinct. This paper makes an original contribution to this literature by proposing the use of recognition theory as a beneficial lens through which to understand the Family Group Conferencing process. Recognition Theory contends that social relations acknowledge and validate personal existence and are pivotal to identify formation; a just society is therefore one where everyone gets due recognition. A retrospective qualitative study will be used to exemplify how Family Group Conferencing can create the conditions within which participants can experience different forms of recognition: care; respect; solidarity and, as such, experience a level of social justice (or not). It is argued that recognition within the Family Group Conferencing process can influence the identity and relationships of those involved in social work services. This article has significance beyond those with an interest in Family Group Conferencing as recognition theory can sheds light on the nature of relationships in social work practice more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2191-2209
Number of pages19
JournalThe British Journal of Social Work
Issue number6
Early online date6 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


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