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Restorative Approaches Training

Catherine Squire

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15th Feb 2012

The county of Norfolk is aiming to be a fully restorative county within a few years. In January I delivered two trainings in Restorative Approaches for the Norfolk County Council. These were the first of what will be many series of trainings across the county. The County is beginning the roll out of trainings with special emphasis on the educational and care sector.

The one day training, an Overview of Restorative Approaches, is geared for people wanting to understand the range of restorative approaches, their application, and the skills associated with each so that they can better determine which would be most appropriate to their particular setting. Interventions range from the least formal, i.e. a restorative conversation or enquiry, to a formal community conference. What is challenging in delivering this kind of training is balancing information input with practice so that participants experience the process and don’t come away with only an intellectual experience. To achieve this we applied five restorative themes that form the foundation of all restorative interventions (Unique stories, Thoughts and Feelings, Harm, Needs, and Repair) to a variety of personal and professional situations.

The second training explored the ‘Circles’ process. A restorative ‘Circle’ has a ritualistic quality in that it is a relatively formal structure that allows for a sharing of views, feelings and experiences around a range of topics.  Circles are an effective way of ensuring everyone has a voice. They can be used to address a critical incident, for problem solving a difficult issue, or simply celebrating a collective accomplishment.

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