Restorative Families takes the principles of Restorative Practice and applies them to clinical work with families. Restorative Families is collaborative service offered jointly by Shalem’s Counselling Centre and Restorative Practice Services staff.
Family Group Decision-Making
Sometimes families need to make big decisions about, for example, the care of a child or the care of a senior. “Family Group Decision-Making” is a successful restorative practice process that has emerged in the child protection sector. When a child is about to become a permanent ward of the state, a Family Group Decision-Maker facilitator brings all of the extended family together to a meeting. The child protection people articulate what the safety concerns are. Then all of the professionals leave the room and the family is left to come up with a plan for the care of the child (they can call in the professionals for consultation if they wish). If they arrive at a plan, typically the plan is accepted in court.
The outcomes of Family Group Decision-Making are far better than any other intervention in child welfare.
Family Group Decision-Making can work well with any large decision that a family needs to make—not just decisions involving a child.
Shalem offers Family Group Decision-Making to any interested family. Shalem’s psychotherapist Bernadine Togeretz is a certified, very experienced Family Group Decision-Making Facilitator and Consultant (certified by the George Hull Centre in Toronto). To learn more about Family Group Decision-Making (also called “Family Group Conferencing”), please visit the George Hull centre website. And contact Bernadine to find out more about what Shalem offers.
Restorative Family Therapy
Sometimes in therapy it becomes clear that a large family meeting is necessary. Perhaps a long-held family secret needs to come out—but in a constructive way. Shalem is taking restorative principles and practices about how to have difficult conversations in a safe way, work through issues, resolve conflict and move forward together, into families. One of Shalem’s restorative practitioners does careful pre-work with family members—in part to ensure that a circle will not cause further harm—and then brings them together into a structured restorative circle. The therapist remains involved as a support to the client.
For a presentation about Restorative Families called “A Dynamic Blended Family: When Restorative Practice Marries Family Therapy” by Anne and Jennifer, click here.
Jennifer Bowen, Clinical Director
Anne Martin, Director of Restorative Practice Services