Wexford Restorative Practices Partnership

Wexford Restorative Practices Partnership (WRPP) is a multi-agency body established in 2016 with the objective of developing restorative practices throughout County Wexford.

 

Wexford Restorative Practices Partnership held a very successful conference in the River Bank Hotel Enniscorthy on 14th November 2018 on the theme of “Embedding Restorative Practices in County Wexford”. Seventy five delegates from the areas of education, youth services, criminal justice and community development, together with community activists and political representatives, gathered to hear a panel of experts speaking on the benefits of embedding restorative practices in their services, communities and work.

A section of the audience listening to speakers at the conference.

'Circle Time' during one of the three workshops at the conference.

Sheila Barrett, Wexford CYPSC, Ursula Fernee, National Lead on RJ with Probation Service, Sandra Dardis, Wexford Probation Service, Carol Long, Wexford Probation Service, Tony Kennedy, Senior Manager, Tusla, Michele Weir, Senior Probation Officer, Wexford, Anna Mai Corcoran, Wexford Probation Service, Veronica Brooks, Wexford Probation Service and Garda Alan Byrne, JLO, Wexford.

Frank Murphy, Restorative Practices trainer and school principal, Brian Kehoe, CEO, Wexford Local Development, Phyllida Clarke, Restorative Practices trainer, Tony Kennedy, Senior Manager, Tusla, Alan Byrne, Garda JLO, Wexford, Tim Chapman, Chairman of European Restorative Justice Forum.

Welcome to the Wexford Restorative Practices Partnership

Restorative Practices (RP), based on the philosophy and principles of restorative justice, provide an underpinning ethos and philosophy for making, maintaining and repairing relationships and for fostering a sense of social responsibility and shared accountability. It involves:

  • Viewing wrongdoing through a ‘relational’ lens – understanding that harm has been done to people and relationships
  • Understanding that when such harm is done, it creates obligations and liabilities
  • Focusing on repairing the harm and making things right

When harm has been caused by inappropriate, sometimes thoughtless, negative behaviour then all sides need:

  • a chance to tell their side of the story and feel heard
  • to understand better how the situation happened
  • to understand how it can be avoided another time
  • to feel understood by the others involved
  • to find a way to move on and feel better about themselves

Restorative Practice can take many forms including using restorative language, having restorative conversations, holding circle time, restorative conferencing etc. When things go wrong you:

  • Involve those responsible for and those affected by the behaviour in solving the problem
  • Provide high levels of support for all parties, whether perpetrators or those affected
  • Address the needs of all those involved in harmful incidents
  • Provide strong messages and reminders about what behaviours are acceptable and unacceptable 

There are many challenges in implementing an organisation or institution-wide approach since the restorative way challenges deeply-held notions about power and control and the urge to make things unpleasant for someone when they have done something wrong or ‘misbehaved’.

Restorative practices have been effectively incorporated into the work of groups and organisations in areas diverse as:

  • Early Years
  • Family Centres
  • Primary Schools
  • Secondary Schools
  • Further Education
  • Special Education
  • Residential services
  • Homeless hostels and services
  • Police
  • Youth Justice Service
  • Probation
  • Prison Service
  • Voluntary and community organisations
  • Health Services
  • Social Work and Social Services
  • Housing Associations
  • Victim Support
  • Children, Young People and Families
  • Elderly and Vulnerable Adults
  • Private Businesses
  • Local Authority Departments and Services

At the launch of the new Wexford Restorative Practices Partnership (WRPP) website in Clayton Whites Hotel in June 2018 (from left) back – Maeve O’Byrne (WLD), Tommy Somers, Terry O’Neill, Cllr Oisín O’Connell, Tony Kennedy, Garda Alan Quirke, Cllr Ger Carthy, Frank Murphy, Sheila Barrett, Michelle Weir, Sinead O’Hara and Garda Sgt Cormac Sheridan; seated – Brian Kehoe, Cllr Barbara Anne Murphy, Michael Wall, Paul Delaney (Chairman), James Browne TD, Cllr Mary Farrell and Rosanne Cahill

 

Restorative Practices at work in communities

 

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