Restorative Thinking- Working with Families

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 Sex: n/a
 Age: 16+
 Cost: Yes 



Aimed at:

  • Restorative Thinking (Parenting without Conflict) has been developed to support parents (or adults with parental responsibilities) to understand some of their child’s challenging behaviour and some of the reasons for it.
  • The sessions support parents to reflect and consider the impact of their current parenting style and develop new skills to restore and rebuild positive relationships by reducing future conflict and healing past hurts.
  • This programme is suitable for young parents and has been awarded the Department of Health’s CANparent Quality Mark.




Intended Outcomes:

  • Better understanding of child development and the reasons underpinning the challenges a child may present
  • Better understanding of a child’s needs and how to meet them
  • Understanding behaviour as communication
  • Range of restorative practice skills to build stronger relationships
  • How to put key theories (DBT, CBT, SFT, developmental psychology) into practice




The Programme is 4 weeks long and runs for 1.5 hours per week, however the sessions can also be run for up to 2.5 hours per week.  Ilminster Avenue Specialist Children’s Centre also offers a crèche in order to support parents to attend.  The programme is run with two trained members of staff and can take a group of up to fourteen parents/carers. The programme looks at the following content; 

  1. communicating and staying calm
  2. engaging restorative approaches
  3. coping with difficult behaviour
  4. parents working together as a team
  5. understanding different stages of a child’s development
  6. managing conflict
  7. the psychology behind behaviour and conflict




What makes it work:

  • Range of reflective activities
  • Programme is underpinned by dialectical behaviour therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, solution focused therapy and developmental psychology
  • Support families to develops skills in restoring and strengthening relationships
  • Positive evidence from parents around using new skills to better understand child/ren’s needs and manage behaviour
  • Positive evidence from parents that have completed the course, around increase in positive relations with schools   
  • The programme gives parents an opportunity to reflect on ways that they can support their children with restorative approaches 




Implementing the Practice:

  • The training required is five days’ training for staff members in order to run the programme
  • Ilminster Avenue Specialist Children’s Centre have trained three staff members, to ensure that any sick and annual leave is covered 
  • Staff also attend yearly refresher course once per year
  • All trained staff received a file containing session plans and evaluation forms (including pre and post programme questionnaires)
  • Parents are also provided with booklet and a bookmark with helpful restorative questions and other resources
  • The programme at Ilminster Avenue Specialist Children’s Centre received some of the funding from Focus on Families to support the running of the programme 
  • The programme can be run with those adults that have or share parental responsibilities (not just for parents)
  • Ilminster Avenue Specialist Children’s Centre is looking to expand the target audience and is hoping to run a ‘twilight’ course from 5:30pm for parents who have work commitments




Other:                       Ilminster Avenue Specialist Children’s Centre
Name: Caroline Wade 
Telephone:                   01173776640 


Source Organisation: Restorative Thinking 
Name: Lesley Parkinson 



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