The Atkinson, a restorative approach to secure children’s care
Atkinson has developed significantly in restorative approaches to young people’s are in the last two years. This has seen a significant shift in the ethos of the home. Children are encouraged to think about the effects their behaviour has on others and supported in talking about their emotions and the emotions of others.
All the staff have gone through a training programme with a specialist in restorative approach who attends the home once a week to further support and develop restorative practices. Records are kept of positive interventions with young people that have included restorative approaches that have been explored and developed by young people.
Restoring balance and rebuilding damaged relationships is at the hear of restorative practice here at the Atkinson, and although challenging for children to work with at times, helps us achieve reduced levels of risk and increases the positive life choices children make both in the Atkinson and upon release.
If you place a young person in our home or have a young person currently with us, please ask to see to records of their restorative interventions to get an idea of the achievable aims that each child can work towards.
“Restorative approaches embrace the day to day skills involved in pre-empting conflicts and harm by pro-actively building community cohesion and social capital as well as reacting/responding when things go wrong.”
Dr Belinda Hopkins
The Homes Behaviour Management Policy and practice have restorative principles embedded throughout. Staff have developed empathetic listening skills and are encouraged to explore the rebuilding of relationships and re-balancing of harm caused through needs based restoration and Not punishment.
For example, we often ask two young people who have been in conflict to sit and talk about their frustrations, supported by staff. We have also offered restorative interventions that have included working in the home or in the community to give back to communities that might have had harm caused to them in the past. Encouraging young people to develop and mature in this was reaps benefits upon their return to the community.