CSF Buxmont’s Restorative Services Program for Schools delivers direct support to educators who find themselves with limited resources to deal with serious incidents, discipline problems, drug and alcohol issues, challenging children and families and a growing demand for alternative and special education placements. Restorative services improve communication and relationships between students, staff and families, enhance classroom climate, and help young people resolve conflict and stay in school. Created by Community Service Foundation and Buxmont Academy (CSF Buxmont), whose schools for delinquent and socially and emotionally disturbed students pioneered the use of restorative practices, and its affiliate, the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), a graduate school and leading provider of restorative practices training, the program offers a menu of services to address the most challenging situations in schools.
For information and referrals, call Amber Doundas at 215-651-0027 or email.
Read an article about the program here.
Menu of Restorative Services
CSF Buxmont and IIRP staff have extensive experience and research-proven success working with all types of students in a wide range of settings. They can provide a variety of restorative interventions in which they prepare participants and facilitate the process:
- Restorative Conferences are an effective way to respond to an incident of harm or wrongdoing. The conference provides an opportunity for students, staff, and possibly family members to communicate, restore relationships, repair harm and change behavior for the future.
- Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) Conferences are a problem-solving approach that engages and empowers students and family members in developing their own plans to solve a student’s recurring behavior and other problems, reducing the need for further school or professional involvement.
- Restorative Circles in classrooms proactively enhance relationships among students and staff, preventing conflict and also effectively resolving problems when they do arise.
For those schools that have had or are interested in IIRP restorative practices training, so as to develop an in-house capacity for restorative practices among their own staff, the Restorative Services Program can provide implementation support and co-facilitation opportunities for staff to practice and refine their restorative skills.
Restorative Services Program staff, who have worked with the most challenging children and families, can also prevent or resolve crises and reduce the need for alternative school or special education placements by providing short-term interventions involving:
- Individual counseling.
- Family counseling.
- Drug and alcohol counseling.
- Reintegration counseling to assist young people coming from out-of-school placements to maximize the likelihood of a successful return.
Empirical Evaluations Show:
- Growing evidence that restorative practices can improve the culture and climate of all schools: rural, suburban and urban.
- Restorative practices helped bring violence down 75% at West Philadelphia High School, named a “Persistently Dangerous School” for six years by the state.
- Offending reduced by more than half among delinquent and at-risk youth through participation in CSF Buxmont restorative programs.
Source: Improving School Climate: Findings from Schools Implementing Restorative Practices, a report from the IIRP Graduate School