A study of coordinator positionings in family group conferences





Nordic Social Work Research;


Taylor & Francis



Although the coordinator is essential in mobilizing and remobilizing the social network of individual participants during the family group conference (FGC) process, we lack knowledge on the coordinators’ meaning and their interaction with various FGC actors. The data in this study come from nine interviews with FGC coordinators conducted as part of a randomized controlled study in which FGCs were implemented in two Norwegian municipalities: Oslo and Bergen. Positioning theory is used as an analytical tool for interpreting the findings. The results indicate that it is a challenge for coordinators to maintain the ideal of the ‘neutral’ coordinator while building trusting relationships with participants. Coordinators’ strategies for managing these challenges are interpreted as discursive positionings that enable communication, trust and participation, potentially securing FGC as an empowering process for the participant. The results indicate that coordinators are crucial actors in carrying out the FGC process



This is an electronic version of an article published in Natland, S., & Malmberg-Heimonen, I. (2013). A study of coordinator positionings in family group conferences. Nordic Social Work Research, 1-15. DOI:10.1080/2156857X.2013.826142. Nordic Social Work Research is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/ with the open URL of your article.

Permanent URL

  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/1672