May 23, 2013: A community based response to conflict has been found to reduce disputes by 43% and significantly improve relationships with service providers, work colleagues and neighbours.
The report on a Restorative Practice Programme run in Tallaght West by the Childhood Development Initiative found that the greatest gain made in the reduction of disputes was of those in the workplace.
The Programme has been operational since 2010 and included training for almost 700 people working and living in Tallaght West including 100 young people and locally based Restorative Practice trainers.
61% of those surveyed in the community reported improved relationships between service providers and service users. 47% reported improved relationships with their work colleagues and 14% reported improvement in relationships with neighbours.
From a community safety point of view, 36% said that they would be more willing to report crime or anti-social behaviour as a result of restorative approaches being employed across the community.
Among those who were trained in Restorative Practice 87% reported being better able to manage conflict and 82% found that they were better able to manage other difficulties by using a restorative approach.
The Evaluation of the programme was carried out by the Child and Family Research Centre at the National University of Ireland Galway.
Restorative Practice is about repairing the harm done to people and relationships, rather than simply punishing offenders. It involves building networks, forums and skills in the community for resolving conflict when it arises.
The approach is being used frequently across a range of sectors in Tallaght West and 75% of those surveyed reported that they had experienced Restorative Practice being used at work, home or in the community.
CDI CEO Marian Quinn said that CDI strongly recommends the adoption of Restorative Practice to support workplace reform and as a way of working by all professionals responsible for the well-being of children and young people.
“Given the findings relating to improved productivity and reduced work-based conflict, this programme can usefully inform the Government’s public service reform agenda.”
“CDI is also recommending that Restorative Practice training modules be included in all teacher training courses and that relevant professional organisations recognise this approach for the continuing professional development of people with responsibility for children and young people.”
The Evaluation Report and summary Policy brief are available at www.twcdi.ie.
CDI also today launched an Evaluation Report and Policy Brief of its Community Safety Initiative programme. This and all of CDI’s other Evaluation Reports and Policy briefs are available at www.twcdi.ie.
CDI has worked in the community in Tallaght West since 2007 and in that time more than 2,000 children have participated in its programmes.
CDI is one of three Prevention and Early Intervention Programme (PEIP) organisations, jointly funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Atlantic Philanthropies. The other programmes are in Ballymun and Dublin 17 and all of the PEIP organisations are exploring new methods for improving outcomes for children in disadvantaged areas.
Ronan Cavanagh, Communications Coordinator, CDI: (086) 317 9731.