Restorative Engagement/Practices in Family Dispute Resolution (FDR)

Posted Nov 2018

At separation, the intimate adult relationship is severed. For those who have ongoing unresolved emotional connections and children together, this can interfere with parental capacity and co-parenting. Traditional dispute resolution processes such as Family Dispute Resolution or court processes, do not actively enable a letting go of the emotional energy at the end of the partner relationship or the separation, nor do they provide a forum to resolve this.

A new impactful way to work with entrenched family law disputes is in utilising Restorative, facilitative tools and strategies.

Restorative practices

  • Refers to an approach that promotes fair or just restorative outcomes, separate from criminal justice system.
  • Processes by which people can transform conflict into co-operation, and they negotiate workable outcomes for themselves – this results in fairer and more effective decisions making, healing individuals and resetting and restoring right relations.
  • The service works with people prioritising safety, doing no further harm, building trust, empowerment, self-determination, ensuring voluntariness, transparency and using a trauma informed lens.

Therefore, to promote healing in family disputes; by using restorative practice within FDR, the FDRP (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner) is able to;

  • facilitate a disengagement, sow seeds of separation and reintegration
  • move beyond their negative intimate relationship to a common understanding and cooperative relationship.
  • give time, space and opportunity to bring a relationship to an end, allowing a letting go and redirection of energies. Provides the space to hear and be heard.

With the requisite training, qualifications and expertise, Shifting Sands is able to provide this specialty service that engages specifically with FDR clients focusing on effecting recovery and building insights into behaviour within a context of a structured FDR process.

Using Restorative processes and principles within a structured FDR process the relationship is

  • Restored – positive
  • No longer conflictual
  • Ended
  • Established – new relationship