This text explores the effect of involving parents in the conference process, on the decisions and recommendations made on the views and experiences of the professionals and families involved. It is based on a research design which involved comparisons of conferences and of areas where parents were invited and those where they were not. Generally, the findings from the research are positive. Parents who had been to the conference felt fairly treated and were more positive to the on-going social work intervention than the parents who had not been. However, conference attendance was not the strongest determinant of attitude overall. The parents' greatest fear was the removal of their child. The findings also highlight the potential for conflict within the conference task, as well as for the professionals. There are limitations to the degree to which working in partnership with parents is possible, and to the extent to which the process could be described as empowering.