Introduction, Principles and Processes

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The Contexts


The Studies

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Methods of Review


Team Member Bios





First, we want to thank the authors who submitted their work, many of whom were readily available to clarify matters. Their responsiveness is a testimony to their high level of interest in this effort.

Continued support from American Humane, European Forum and other national and international associations will be crucial to moving into the next stages of our review of the family-engagement literature.

In particular, we are grateful to Lisa Merkel-Holguin of the National Center on Family Group Decision Making and John Fluke of the Child Protection Research Center. American Humane’s Ann Ahlers provided able editing. Kathleen Manion, senior analyst in the Office of the Chief Social Worker, Ministry of Social Development in New Zealand reviewed submissions and drafted annotations with Marie; Mary Skidmore-Taylor, research assistant with the Vermont State Child Welfare Partnership helped with administrative support for Gale; Nathan Hughes and Lucy Loveless gave assistance to Kate and will continue to support the work; and Joanne Schlueter, Erin Bergstrom, Amanda Blue and Angelique Grantham provided research assistance to Joan. Paul Nixon organized a meeting space for the team in North Yorkshire in September 2008 and participated in the discussions. Finally, family engagement being what it is, the studies represent thousands of children, young people and their family members around the world who have participated in these meetings, enabling their views to be expressed in ways they probably would not have been, had not local leaders and social workers opened the path for them to be involved. That means that workers, supervisors and other local leaders have gone the extra distance to make the meetings happen. We acknowledge the courage of these professionals, who can be found around the world in offices big and small, working under conditions and within cultures that vary wildly from one another. As we reviewed the studies, we constantly reflected on what it is that creates such a sense of making a difference for professionals who engage with families and marvelled at their continued enthusiasm for engaging with family groups.

Gale, Joan, Kate and Marie would like to thank their respective families for ongoing support, especially in having the extra time to travel for this project.

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