Torbay Children’s Services and Local Area is adopting a restorative practice approach in how we work with children, young people and families. Restorative Practice is a way in which we can build and maintain positive, healthy relationships and a way to resolve difficulties and repair harm.   

We understand that life can sometimes be hard and what happens to us can affect how we think, feel, and behave. We know that how we work with children, young people and families to talk about this and the ways in which we support them are important.  

We recognise that listening to children, young people and families and working ‘with’ rather than doing things ‘for’ or ‘to’ is the best way we can help support. It means our practitioners will focus on building positive relationships through respectful communication, collaboration and shared decision making to help create positive change.  

The benefits of working restoratively include:  

  • Respectful conversations help to truly understand an individual’s life events   
  • Encourages families to become more self-sufficient  
  • Shared decision making and co-planning leads to better outcomes for children and families 
  • Teamwork promotes successful multi agency working  
  • Open and honest conversations help to build relationships and manage expectations  
  • Reducing, preventing, and addressing harmful behaviour to keep everyone safe  
  • Addresses conflict and seeks to repair harm when things go wrong  
  • Trauma informed practice allow safe conversations to take place 
  • Inclusive practice promotes working together with children, young people, and families, so they feel respected, listened to, and heard  
  • Voices of children are key, so we hear their wishes and feelings and where possible act upon them 
  • Encourages the building, maintaining, and repairing of all relationships   

What Restorative Practice looks to a young person 

We asked a group of young people to tell us their ideas and suggestions on how professionals could build positive relationships with them. Here’s what they told us: 

  • Love + care + hugs 
  • Confidence and trust 
  • Be patient  
  • Don’t judge me 
  • It’s ok not to be ok :) 
  • Really listen and understand me 
  • Take the time to talk to me 
  • Use a calm voice 
  • Play video games with me 
  • Give me the chance to talk about what I want 
  • Be calm, understanding and kind 
  • Be truthful 
  • Nonbinary is okay 
  • Everyone to be honest 
  • Be approachable 
  • Nice, relaxed environment  
  • Try not to compare my situation with others  
  • Understand that every child is different and have different needs 
  • Take the time to get to know me 
  • Have realistic expectations of me 
  • Don’t underestimate me 

For further support, or to give feedback, please contact our Learning and Development department on: