IIRP Canada was founded in 2008 as an international affiliate of the IIRP to offer training and consulting in restorative practices across Canada. IIRP Canada works with schools, facilities, community programs, workplaces, faith groups and families with a focus on strengthening relationships and repairing harm as a way of building community.
IIRP Canada offers:
- All IIRP Professional Development events publicly or at your site.
- The opportunity to become a licensed trainer.
- Specialized work in the areas described below.
Framework for Schools
A Way of Thinking and Being
The Restorative Practice Framework provides a construct for acting restoratively within a classroom and school "community." It is very well suited to education in general and in a variety of special education settings. The aim of the framework is to focus on making connections, strengthening relationships and in repairing harm as a way of building community. It incorporates inclusive, integrated and proactive approaches where a major goal is the effective reintegration of students when addressing situations where harm has been done.
Schools embracing the Restorative Practice Framework report a safer, more connected environment with higher levels of student achievement as existing and new practices are framed through the restorative lens.
The one-day on-site interactive workshop, “Introduction to Restorative Practice Framework," provides skills and thinking you can use immediately. Effective Use of Circles is a recommended second full day of training during which participants learn the value and process of circles — practical and effective tools for creating a positive climate in classrooms.
Other activities for schools may include:
- Facilitating Restorative Conferences (2 days)
- Continuing consultation
- Assemblies for students
- Parent workshops
IIRP Canada and the Centre for Workplace Engagement (CWE) offer a practical framework to support workplaces to meet the CSA’s Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, a voluntary set of guidelines and resources focused on 1) promoting employees’ psychological health; 2) preventing psychological harm; and 3) resolving incidents and concerns when they arise.
The cornerstones of restorative practice in the workplace are:
- Preventing harm
- Building social capital
- Repairing damaged relationships
- Building stronger workplace communities
Unlike Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which limits the scope to one conflict, restorative practices seeks creative ways to repair harm and allow everyone to find a positive way forward, building better relationships and safer workplace communities along the way. Plus, restorative practices can be used within existing discipline and grievance systems.
Restorative practices provides a framework for people working in the criminal justice field, from police to probation and corrections to parole, to employ a restorative approach as a way of thinking and being. Engage and build relationships with offenders to help them take responsibility for their actions, understand the impact of what they have done and make real changes in their lives. The IIRP teaches how to facilitate restorative conferences as well as use a range of less formal practices every day. Benefits include:
- Empowering individuals causing harm to take responsibility for their behavior
- Holding individuals accountable for their actions
- Enabling persons causing harm hear directly from the people they’ve affected
- Providing opportunities to decide how to repair harm
- Breaking cycles of wrongdoing and misbehaviour
- Working within current school disciplinary and justice systems
- Truly resolving conflicts
One of the mysteries of faith is that some of the most difficult, painful and damaging conflicts between people take place in church settings. Likely many of us know of congregation-based disputes that have left people hurt and embittered – perhaps even questioning their faith.
Since 2007, IIRP Canada has partnered with Shalem Mental Health Network to provide a service called FaithCARE (Faith Communities Affirming Restorative Experience).
Our multi-denominational team of veteran restorative practices facilitators has collaborated with over 50 churches around Ontario from a variety of denominations. Issues have ranged from low intensity to very high intensity conflict. Congregations have told us “we would not have been able to move from our pain and conflict to where we are now without the support of FaithCARE.” We have also walked alongside other churches as they live out their desire to become restorative culture congregations, where all relationships are done in a restorative way.
In addition to direct facilitation, IIRP Canada offers 3- or 4-day retreats for faith leaders who wish to learn practical strategies to build strong, healthy relationships in their congregations.
With a regional office in Alberta, IIRP offers specialized training and consulting for Indigenous peoples throughout Canada. IIRP Canada:
- Uses and teaches circle processes to promote engagement, relationship building and problem solving on an individual, family and community level
- Supports system reform for the benefit children and youth at-risk
- Aligns with the recommendations of the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commition to promote recovery from historic trauma.
IIRP Canada's training materials have been translated to French. Fluent French-speaking instructors provide on-site consulting and training in schools and community organizations.