Irene Livingstone, Dip SW, independent consultant and practice improvement specialist
As always, and as I have found out over many years of local government work, building and nurturing meaningful and sound relationships is the key to success and productivity – breaking down those behavioural barriers that colleagues build up at all levels of the organisation, through knowledge and the skilful application of sound restorative approaches. Sounds easy, but it takes some time to understand your own barriers, impact upon self of the work you undertake and how that impacts on others.
This book, written in simple plain language for what is a vast psychological and behavioural minefield at times, helps the reader understand what a restorative approach is and how it can be applied to everyday occurrences and events, including in the workplace. Lesley deals mainly with NHS scenarios in this book, but this approach can be used in all workplace settings, at all levels, including working with children. When used and applied, the restorative principles (or habits) do change mindsets, reduce stressful and potentially harmful situations, and make working in a team or organisation happier and healthier for all – as well as ensure the best outcomes for a child and their family. It’s seeing the behaviour or response and not applying it to the person as being wrong or deceitful, and always looking for the solution, that really counts – and works, as time has shown us!
In local authorities, most will have a practice model that is strengths-based and family focused, as well as using a trauma-informed approach when working with children and their families – a restorative practice approach fits well with these models and applying the restorative principles creatively only enhances what are already tried, tested and research-rich ways of working.