A new Restorative Justice pilot for sexual abuse has recently been launched by The Green House in collaboration with the North Bristol NHS Trust Be Safe Service and the Bristol City Council Youth Offending Team, funded by the Police & Crime Commissioner. The aim of the R e s t Δ r e project is to enable children or young people who have experienced sexual abuse to access support to participate in restorative justice conference meetings or family meetings. This may take the form of attendance at a RJ Conference or having a representative attend on their behalf, and/or participation in a family meetings in cases where the person who has harmed sexually is part of the family.
Over the year of the R e s t Δ r e pilot, the aim is to work with 6 children or young people who have been sexually abused. These children or young people will receive individual therapy from The Green House and the three agencies will develop multi-agency processes for information sharing and integrated working. In all cases this person will be a child or adolescent who is participating in a programme of intervention with the Be Safe Service and/or the Bristol YOT. At the conclusion of the project a short evaluation will be made available alongside guidance for practitioners considering using family meetings and/or restorative conferences as part of a Restorative Justice Approach for victims of sexual abuse and for children/young people who have engaged in problematic/harmful sexual behaviour.
R e s t Δ r e will draw together the specialist skills of the different agencies working with the same field and create opportunities for all three agencies to learn and develop their practice through this experience. This approach to working with young people and their families addresses the issue of sexual abuse head on and provides support for all parts of the family system affected by the issue. Family breakdown as a result of sibling sexual abuse is very common and the pilot presents innovative ways of addressing this.
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