RESTORE (restorative justice)

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RESTORE is a restorative justice program for adolescents who use family violence, developed in partnership with the Melbourne Children’s Court. The program uses a restorative justice approach to hold the young person to account for their use of violence, while also working with the whole family to prevent further violence from occurring.

How does the program help?

RESTORE seeks to hold adolescents who use violence to account for their actions, while keeping them and their families safe from harm.

Approximately one in 10 police call-outs relating to family violence involve young perpetrators aged 10-17 years, yet punitive responses aren’t always the most effective to addressing violent behaviour in adolescents, particularly in early stages of offending. RESTORE supports adolescents to be accountable for their actions, reset their lives, and grow up to be productive, healthy and responsible members of our community.

How does the program work?

A magistrate can refer a young person and their family to a RESTORE convenor to discuss participation in the program and to conduct a suitability assessment.

If the young person and their family are deemed suitable and everyone consents to participate in the program, the magistrate will adjourn the intervention order application for up to three months. During this time, the RESTORE convener works closely with the young person and their family as they participate in a structured Family Group Conference to address the use of violence at home.

The Family Group Conference aims to:

  • Help the young person to understand the impact of their violence
  • Increase the safety of family members living in the home
  • Address the harm that has been caused by the young person’s use of violence
  • Restore relationships between family members, and
  • Develop and implement strategies that will reduce the likelihood of the young person continuing to use violence in the home.

After the Family Group Conference, the converner prepares a report for the court documenting its outcome, to help the magistrate determine whether to make a final intervention order.


Who can participate?

RESTORE is available to young people who are respondents to family violence intervention order applications at the Melbourne Children’s Court where:

  • There is no current child protection involvement, and
  • The young person is living at home (or likely to return to the home soon).

Where is it offered?

RESTORE is available to young people who are respondents in family violence matters heard before the Melbourne Children’s Court.


How does someone make a referral?

To make a referral to RESTORE, contact the Family Violence Registrar or Family Violence Practitioner at the Melbourne Children’s Court on (03) 8638 3300 or at ivochildrenscourt@courts.vic.gov.au.

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