Torbay Council becomes the first Children’s Services to be awarded Registered Restorative Organisation status

The RJC is pleased to announce that Torbay Council Children’s Services have been awarded Registered Restorative Organisation status. They are the first local authority within the UK to receive this award.  

Torbay Council’s Children’s Services were previously an inadequate authority who knew the way in which they supported children and families had to change. Looking for an approach that allowed them to build and maintain positive and healthy relationships with children and families, restorative practice provided everything they needed to create successful change.  

The Service embarked on their restorative journey back in 2020, which allowed them to make positive changes to the ways in which they worked to achieve a ‘good’ Ofsted rating.  They would highly recommend organisations taking this step to becoming registered as it was an opportunity for them to explore the ways in which they could use restorative practice to improve services and support.

Torbay Council children's services have demonstrated an excellent understanding of restorative practice theory and how this can be embedded within an organisation.

RJC Registration Decision Report (Feb 23)

Led by Rebecca Rushton, an experienced restorative practitioner and trainer, the Council have embarked on a restorative journey to embed restorative practice across the service. Navigating the complexities of finding a balance between safeguarding and delivering supportive and inclusive restorative processes is undoubtedly a challenge, however, the core values of safe and effective practice, are factored in alongside risk and safety assessments ensuring that there are no unnecessary risks being taken.

From left to right (Rachael Williams (Divisional Director Education, Learning and Skills), Becky Thompson (Divisional Director of Safeguarding), Nancy Meehan (Director of Children Services), and Councillor Cordelia Law (Cabinet Member for Children Services).

Jim Simon, the RJC’s chief executive said:

“Torbay Council Children’s Services have demonstrated throughout the rigorous assessment process that they have embedded the core restorative values across the service. The RJ lead, supported by senior leaders, have demonstrated that they meet the required standards to be awarded this status. Those families with whom they work can be confident that the service places relationships and restorative principles at the heart of what they do. I congratulate the service on this achievement.”

Nancy Meehan, Director, Torbay Council Children’s Services said:

“Restorative practice has focussed our attention on building positive, healthy relationships with not only our children and families, but our partner agencies and each other. We recognise life can be challenging and this impacts on how we think, feel, and behave. Adopting a restorative approach has meant we are better at listening to children, young people, and families who we work ‘with’ rather than doing things ‘for’ or ‘to’.

We believe embedding a restorative approach has helped contribute towards our ‘good’ Ofsted rating. This means our practitioners focus on respectful communication, collaboration and shared decision making to create positive change.

Being awarded registered status as the first Children’s Services demonstrates our commitment, it is another step in our ambitious journey to ensure that restorative practice runs as a golden thread in all we do to provide good quality of services for our children and families living in Torbay.”

To find out more about how Torbay Council Children’s `Services are working restoratively contact Bexs Rushton at

Our Ways of Working - Torbay Council