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Family group conferences originated in New Zealand in 1989 and are grounded in the Maori culture. Since its inception there has been interest from academics and researchers into the family group conference model, many seeing it as a significant shift in practice worthy of detailed study. Family group conferences are now used in approximately 30 countries worldwide and in at least 22 countries in Europe. As their use has spread they have been subject to considerable academic scrutiny and over the last two decades a substantial body of research has grown both in the UK and worldwide.