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Community approach to conflict brings 43% reduction in disputes

A community based response to conflict has been found to reduce disputes by 43% and significantly improve relationships with service providers, work colleagues and neighbours.

The report on a Restorative Practice Programme run in Tallaght West by the Childhood Development Initiative found that the greatest gain made in the reduction of disputes was of those in the workplace.

The Programme has been operational since 2010 and included training for almost 700 people working and living in Tallaght West including 100 young people and locally based Restorative Practice trainers.

61% of those surveyed in the community reported improved relationships between service providers and service users. 47% reported improved relationships with their work colleagues and 14% reported improvement in relationships with neighbours.

From a community safety point of view, 36% said that they would be more willing to report crime or anti-social behaviour as a result of restorative approaches being employed across the community.

Among those who were trained in Restorative Practice 87% reported being better able to manage conflict and 82% found that they were better able to manage other difficulties by using a restorative approach.

The Evaluation of the programme was carried out by the Child and Family Research Centre at the National University of Ireland Galway.

Restorative Practice is about repairing the harm done to people and relationships, rather than simply punishing offenders. It involves building networks, forums and skills in the community for resolving conflict when it arises.

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