Mission & Principles
Restoration Matters is committed to providing resources to improve the quality of relationships within families, schools, and communities. By providing the latest research-based training, consultation, and resources, we are thought leaders in the field of restorative practices.
Restorative Practices is an emerging social science that defines and identifies hallmarks of quality relationships between individuals and within communities. This work connects research and theory in such fields as psychology, criminal justice, social work, education and public health, resulting in best practices for cultivating healthy relationships. This involves recognizing injustices when they occur, restoring relationships and repairing harm, and collaborating with all parties to create harmony in the future. Part of our framework is understanding that acting restoratively is acting with high support and high control. As shown in the Social Discipline Window, when we are restorative we are WITH people engaging them, explaining decisions, and clarifying expectations.
Engagement: Actively pursue relationships/community life. Make every effort to be supportive of communication that builds up the organization by establishing kindness, patience and compassion as norms.
Explanation: Be as transparent as you possibly can in order to build trust. Even if things don't go your way, knowing your voice was heard establishes a sense of justice.
Expectation Clarity: Explain your policies thoroughly so everyone understands what you want, and what will happen if your expectations are not met. In schools, it is not uncommon to hear students complain that teachers are not fair, or not clear about why a discipline infraction was given.
The Circle Process:
Foundational to these practices are circle processes to provide every person a chance to listen and be heard. When there is harm, circles enable the person(s) responsible for harm to understand the impact of their actions on others and on the community. By addressing the harm in this way, relationships can be repaired and agreements can provide a way forward to a better future. When facing injustices with the goal of restoring equity and making things as right as possible, relationships become the priority rather than determining who is right or wrong.