We are the first local authority in the UK to receive the award for Children’s Services from the Restorative Justice Council.

A restorative practice approach helps an organisation to build and maintain positive and healthy relationships with children and families by listening and understanding what they need.

Having been inspected as Good by Ofsted last year, following a period of inspection rating as Inadequate, our Children's Service looked for an approach that enabled it to build and maintain positive and healthy relationships with children and families in a genuine way.

Councillor Cordelia Law, Torbay Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “We embarked on our restorative journey back in 2020 which enabled us to make positive changes to the way in which we work with our children, young people, and families.

“This approach focussed our attention to build healthy relationships with not only our children and families, but our partner agencies and each other. We know that life can be challenging and this impacts on how we think, feel, and behave. Adopting a restorative approach has meant we are better at listening to children, young people, and families who we work ‘with’ rather than doing things ‘for’ or ‘to’.”

Councillor Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council, said: “Being awarded this registered status as the first Children’s Services demonstrates our commitment and is another step in our ambitious journey. We want to make sure a restorative approach runs through all we do to provide good quality service for our children and families living in Torbay.”

The Restorative Justice Council said that ‘Torbay Council’s Children’s Services demonstrated an excellent understanding of restorative practice theory and how this can be embedded within an organisation’.

Having registered status means that the service can demonstrate it is delivering high quality restorative practice to agreed evidence-based national standards.

It was assessed against a restorative framework and was shown to be competently creating and delivering a restorative ethos which helps to build trust in its services.

Receiving this recognition coincides with the launch of a set of six new principles which underpin the service’s ways of working.

The restorative approach led to these principles being created by listening to what children, young people, families, and carers have been telling Children’s Services.

The principles include all children and young people who may need help and support from Children’s Services in Torbay. These ways of working are at the heart of providing good quality services.

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