Restorative Group Conferencing

We can help with facilitation of a range of restorative group conferencing processes in organisations.

A Restorative Group Conference is a formally structured conversation     between people who are affected by conflict. That conflict may be:

  • the result of a harmful act, the facts of which are not in dispute,          

  • associated with a series of unresolved disputes between individuals or groups,                                                                                                               

  • an issue of shared concern between a group of people                            (we are ‘stuck’ in conflict and we’re not sure how to move forward)

 

The conferencing format enables everyone affected to consider:

  • What happened                                                                                        

  • Who has been affected and how                                                                

  • What is needed to put things right (repair harm; prevent recurrence; reset relationships).

Key principles of Restorative Practices are: accountability, participant empowerment, collaboration, dialogue, respect, empathy. A conference seeks to transform conflict into cooperation by addressing needs which commonly occur in conflict. For example, the need to:                                                            

  • get a fuller/shared understanding about what’s happened                             

  • have one’s story and feelings heard and acknowledged                                

  • feel safe                                                                                                  

  • accept responsibility/remorse/offer genuine apology                                                    

  • contribute to individual and community healing/repair/well being

This text is drawn from the field of Restorative Justice, with acknowledgement to the Restorative Justice Unit at Victoria University of Wellington; and Dr David Moore at Restorative Justice Australia

© 2012 by Michael J Wood

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