Restorative Solutions' Innovative Child-to-Parent Violence Programme Has Been Shortlisted For a National Award

Wednesday 14th October 2020


The Howard League for Penal Reform has shortlisted Step Up in Cumbria for its Restorative Justice award. The
announcement of the winner will be made on 20th October 2020.

Step Up is an innovative and dynamic programme of support developed byRestorative Solutions to help families who are experiencing child-to-parent violence in the home. The programme embeds enhanced communication skills, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and restorative approaches and aims to build resilience within families; supporting each member to break cycles of abuse and become accountable for their own behaviours by learning and practicing effective communication skills to de-escalate situations.

The initial programme was commissioned by Cumbria OPCC and externally evaluated by the Brathay Trust. Families attended voluntarily referral by statutory services or self-referral. Each programme ran for between 14-21 weeks as weekly 2 hour sessions where families were worked with as a unit, in young people and parent groups or on a one to one as needs dictated. 

Parental rationales for joining the groups included ‘I just want my child back’ and ‘this has to stop now, I need help’. The programme is led by experienced trained Restorative Justice practitioners. Outcomes included families being able to self-support and, where agreed with families, referrals were made to statutory agencies. A similar approach has been taken by the OPCC for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

During the pilot phase in Cumbria, the OPCC conducted their own research into demand on police services and recidivism, the analysis showed a reduction in calls for service from the police: prior to the programme 86% of perpetrators on the programme were involved in police call outs prior to attending the intervention. This compares to 14% post intervention.

To find out more about Restorative Solutions, take a look around our website.

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