Articles, information, and links about Restorative Practices
Studying Restorative Practices (RP) allow us to think about RP in our family lives, our professional life and also in the media that we read. Most people I have spoken with in the modern world often yearn for the simplicity of the more traditional and community solutions to conflict.
According to the International Institute for Restorative Practices: “All humans are hardwired to connect. Just as we need food, shelter and clothing, human beings also need strong and meaningful relationships to thrive. Restorative practices is an emerging social science that studies how to strengthen relationships between individuals as well as social connections within communities. Though new to the social sciences, restorative practices has deep roots within indigenous communities throughout the world.”
Restorative practices are not limited to formal processes, such as restorative conferences or family group conferences, but range from informal to formal. On a restorative practices continuum, the informal practices include affective statements that communicate people’s feelings, as well as affective questions that cause people to reflect on how their behavior has affected others. Impromptu restorative conferences, groups and circles are somewhat more structured but do not require the elaborate preparation needed for formal conferences.
Moving from left to right on the continuum, as restorative practices become more formal, they involve more people, require more planning and time, and are more structured and complete. Although a formal restorative process might have dramatic impact, informal practices have a cumulative impact because they are part of everyday life (McCold & Wachtel, 2001).
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