Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Restorative Practices - Southwest Health and Human Services

Restorative Practices

What is Restorative Practices?

Restorative practices (RP) are drawn from the traditions of Indigenous people and communities of color around the world. They are grounded in a belief that people are profoundly relational, interconnected and inherently good. Restorative practices include ways of creating a community that honors the importance of relationships amongst all members in the community; as well as practices to repair relationships when harm has been caused. RP addresses the needs of all people impacted by the harm.

Source: Restorative Practices. (n.d.). Retrieved October 28, 2020


SWMHHS Restorative Practices Brochure

circle group at support group meeting

Circle is a structured process for organizing effective group communication, relationship building, decision-making, and conflict resolution. The process creates a space apart from our normal ways of being together. The Circle embodies and nurtures a philosophy of relationship and interconnectedness that can guide us in all circumstances-in circle and outside of circle.

Old thing, made new. Native & Indigenous Roots.

Peacemaking Circles bring people together as equals to have honest exchanges about difficult issues and painful experiences in an atmosphere of respect and concern for everyone.

Circles Offered

Juvenile Circle Sentencing
An alternative response to a crime that promotes healing and safety for everyone. Included in the Circle process are those harmed by crime/negative behavior, those who commit crime, and the community.

Family & Community Circle
Creates support networks for youth transitioning home from placement and works with youth and families with a variety of familial matters that may be leading to placement or family conflict.

Circle of Hope
Circle of support for those working towards finding and maintaining ongoing recovery from substance abuse.

Other Circles
As needed (i.e. schools, parenting, foster parent, etc.)

For additional information on Circle, please reach out to Megan Boerboom or see the SWMHHS Circle Brochure.

FGDM is a strengths based process in which family and their broader support network are brought together to collectively make decisions and develop a plan to resolve a concern.

Generally, FGDM meetings consist of several phases: an opening and sharing of strengths and concerns, followed by a listing of bottom lines by professionals. A plan is then discussed and developed during private family time and once accepted by the referring agency, the plan is implemented and monitoring begins.

The Conferencing process brings together those harmed by a crime or negative behavior, those who commit crime/negative behavior, and their supports to determine the most effective response to the issue that will promote healing and safety for everyone. The conference develops support for those harmed, assists in creating a plan for those who caused harm and supports them in fulfilling the obligations of the plan.

Mapping is a tool that originated within the Signs of Safety approach, which is widely used in child protection case management. A mapping is a simple process that helps families or teams identify their strengths and concerns as well as create an action plan for the future. Simply put, a mapping asks 3 questions:

  1. What are we worried about?
  2. What is working well?
  3. What needs to happen?

A successful Circle/Restorative Practices Program begins with YOU, the citizens of the community, who know and understand the community's needs and strengths. This community-directed program would like you to consider a volunteer partnership to build, support, and sustain it.

If interested in becoming invovled in the program, please contact Megan Boerboom at [email protected] or 507-532-4121.

Scroll to Top