Restorative practice

Restorative practice describes a way of behaving. It involves building and maintaining healthy relationships, resolving difficulties and repairing harm if there has been conflict between individuals or groups.

What is it all about?

It's about finding out what people can do and working with them to build on that. It doesn't mean that those supporting families should be stepping in to take control. Evidence shows that the futures of children and their families are brighter when those who support them work with and alongside them instead of making decisions for them or doing things to them.

It describes a way of being which threads through everything we do when we're communicating and resolving difficulties. Restorative approaches support those who work with children and families to focus on building relationships that create change. And it's worth bearing in mind that creating change sometimes needs people to be challenged as well as supported.

Who should be using it?

The focus of restorative practice is on relationships and it's just as important to use restorative principles and behaviours in the workplace as well as with children and families.

Are there different restorative approaches?

There are different restorative approaches and these range from formal to informal processes. No matter what approach is taken, all focus on removing barriers and encouraging a sense of community. Understanding and strengthening relationships with children, young people and families can empower them to share responsibility and bring about positive change in their own lives.

Why use a restorative approach?

Here in Surrey, we want to improve the lives for all children and young people, especially those in our direct care as well as reducing the need for children and young people to be looked after. Restorative approaches are widely accepted as a highly effective way of achieving better outcomes for children, young people and their families.

Real life examples of restorative practice

In Surrey we’re working restoratively in lots of different areas, including in our children’s care homes, with young people, families and in the workplace.