APPG Investigation: Implementing restorative practices in education, health and social care

This report sets out some of the current uses of restorative practices within education, health and social care settings across England and Wales. In its recommendations, it identifies 7 key suggestions for what more can be done to disseminate the benefits that quality restorative practice can bring to individuals, communities and organisations. Prepared by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Restorative Justice, this report is based on written evidence received from 51 practitioners, national organisations and academics, 3 Advisory Board Roundtables and from 3 APPG oral evidence sessions with key stakeholders from across the education, health and social care sectors.

Forward by the Advisory Board Chairman

This investigation focused on the current implementation and impact of restorative practice in non-judicial settings across the UK. Our findings, and subsequent recommendations, are based on the reported experience of restorative practitioners working within education, health and social care settings who embraced the opportunity to contribute evidence to demonstrate their successes whilst highlighting where improvements could be made.

During the investigation, we heard compelling evidence demonstrating the positive impact restorative practice can have in transforming the way in which organisations relate to those accessing their services, support better relationships between service users, and improve internal relationships between professionals. This was particularly evident within the testimony of those working within health services with the implementation of the ‘Just Culture’ model. We also heard that applying restorative practice principles within social care offered an alternative to professional and process-centred approaches.

Whilst exploring the way in which restorative practice is being implemented in each of the three areas, we learnt that there are common obstacles which hinder wider implementation. This included gaining senior leadership buy-in, a lack of dedicated funding and an absence of a cohesive government strategy to bring together the siloed restorative work being undertaken.

This investigation report identifies many positive examples of how restorative practice is being used. However, as outlined within our report, there is still much that needs to be done to encourage greater use and improve the quality of restorative practice implementation across Education, Health and Social Care settings.

The Advisory Board is committed to supporting the APPG to call on the Government to use this report to help inform future public policy and invest in a co-designed review of the relational aspects of current Education, Health and Social Care systems to inform the development of a cohesive government strategy for the longer-term implementation of restorative practice.

I would like to thank all those who gave evidence to the investigation and of course my co-chair, Dr Terence Bevington, for his support in delivering this investigation and our fellow- Advisory Board members for their thoughtful contributions.

Resource themes: 
Education, Health, Mental health, Workplace
Resource categories: 
Education, Health, Policy - Government, Publications, Social Care