Restorative Approaches

When challenging behaviour and conflict occur. The traditional response is to ask:

  • What happened?
  • Who is to blame?
  • What is the appropriate punishment?

In broad terms restorative practice is an approach that puts repairing harm done to relationships and people over and above the need to assign blame and punish. The following questions are asked:

  • What happened?
  • Who has been affected and how?
  • How can we put right the harm?
  • What have we all learnt so as to make different choices next time?

The emphasis on ‘we’ is crucial as all those affected by what has happened are also involved in finding a way forward.

Restorative Processes

A restorative process encompasses a continuum, from everyday casual conversations to a challenging conference aimed at helping a victim and offender move on.

Skills and values

The skills required to engage in these processes and interventions include:

  • Remaining impartial and non-judgemental
  • Respecting the perspective of all involved
  • Actively and empathically listening
  • Developing rapport amongst participants
  • Empowering participants to come up with solutions rather than suggesting or imposing ideas
  • Creative questioning
  • Warmth
  • Compassion
  • Patience

These skills are informed by an intent; to encompass the values of respect, openness, empowerment, inclusion, tolerance, integrity, and congruence.

For further information regarding training and advice, please click on the relevant links:


Introduction to Restorative Practices. Presented by Jackie Lamb

Integrated Support, Children’s Support Service training April 2008

On behalf of the Integrated Support Service, I should like to thank you for the presentation you gave. To enthuse a group of teachers at the end of term is a difficult task, but you can be assured your presentation was extremely well received. We, within ISS work with some very challenging young people, and presentations such as yours help us to consider ways of working that add breadth to our planning and responses.

Thank you again.

Janet Tovey, Assistant Integrated Support Manager