New Practice Support Network for restorative justice practitioners

Written by
Alan Mairs
SRJF logo

In support of the maintenance and development of good practice in restorative approaches in Scotland, the Scottish Restorative Justice Forum (SRJF) is establishing a practice network for restorative practitioners in Scotland. The idea was endorsed at a mapping event held by the SRJF on 27 November 2015.

The purpose of the practice network is to provide practitioners with a 'safe space' to develop their knowledge and reflect on issues in practice, and also to benefit from the experience of peers whose work, in the same or similar area, is underpinned by restorative principles. It is not intended to take the place of formal management or case supervision. Improving knowledge and reflecting on practice are recognised as important elements in the overall provision of supervision1, and are therefore associated with the delivery of a number of benefits, including:

  • supporting staff in their work
  • providing more effective practice
  • contributing to staff retention

Recognising the financial restraints on many sectors in the current climate, there is no upfront charge for this initiative. There is, however, an expectation that staff will be released to attend as part of their normal working hours as long as there is no adverse impact to local service delivery. In addition, we ask that agencies involved would be willing on occasion to host the practice network.

We anticipate that the practice network will meet quarterly for approximately two hours and will take the following general format: input and discussion on a technical aspect of practice (30 mins); discussion on specific current practice issues (60 mins); identification of future technical inputs and practice issues, and any other business (30 mins). We intend to issue certificates to those who attend as evidence of their commitment to continuing professional development.

We hope that you will see the advantages of enabling staff engaged in restorative work to become involved in the network. We take this opportunity to thank you for your continuing support for the development of good restorative practices in Scotland.  If you are interested in joining the practitioner network (or for other information about the RJ Forum), please register your interest with Miranda Nicoll: email - MNicoll@sacro.org.uk. You can also sign up for the newsletter and updates at: http://eepurl.com/bloUlf

Joanna Shapland on behalf of the Scottish Restorative Justice Forum

(1) Social Care Institute for Excellence research briefings - 43 Effective supervision in social work and social care