We refer to restorative and relational practice as the “way we do things” in Leeds. They are very similar in meaning although the context can be different. Restorative practice focuses on the principle of doing as much of our work as possible in an atmosphere of high support and high challenge; it is a way of being. At the same time, we stress the importance of relationships. Work with colleagues and work with children and families is most effective when carried out in the context of relationship – an intentional and concerted effort to ensure that we work with people, and avoid doing things to them or for them.
Leeds has fully committed to restorative and relational practice, and has embedded it at scale across the city both within children’s services and also across the partnership and in other local authority directorates, developing an environment in which people are supported through decisions and plans, and challenged to implement long-lasting changes themselves. In this way, restorative and relational practice describes our core values and principles as to how we work with children, young people and families, with colleagues, and with the local authorities we offer support to.
d december 2023