Knowledge of ‘what works’ in early-intervention family services has prompted moves away from approaches which see varied services working autonomously with individual family members, towards provision of multi-agency cross-sector programmes working at a family level. Latterly, some such programmes have adopted Restorative Approach in the belief that delivering services using a more participatory relationship-based framework will support families more effectively. To consider this shift towards use of a Restorative Approach this article explores the concepts and theory that underpin the approach, reflects on how these relate to recommended UK early-intervention family service practice, and constructs a model of family service provision based on the approach. The aim of this article is to consider whether adoption of Restorative Approach has the potential to improve early-intervention family service effectiveness and ultimately have a positive outcome on families.

AuthorsAnnie WilliamsJeremy Segrott