TReP – online training in Restorative Practice is a project implemented by an international partnership between SOS Malta, The Childhood Development Initiative (CDI), Partner Bulgaria Foundation, SGM Solutions & Global Media GmbH, Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology and Brain Shuttle, S.L. The project is funded by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union.
The project aims to create and test a part-time online training course in Restorative Practices for a Level 5 Undergraduate Certificate, to promote alternative conflict resolution and management procedures and restorative methods to help prevent conflicts and minimise the occurrence of aggression, violence, bullying and other behaviours identified as risk factors.
Restorative practice methodology is a product of its predecessor – restorative justice. According to the International Institute for Restorative Practices “restorative justice is reactive, consisting of formal or informal responses to crime and other wrongdoing after it occurs” while “restorative practices also includes the use of informal and formal processes that precede wrongdoing, those that proactively build relationships and a sense of community to prevent conflict and wrongdoing” (website of the International Institute of Restorative Practices, 2015-2016). Contrastively, the following definition of conflict resolution exemplifies the fact that conflict resolution practices are often implemented after a situation of conflict has occurred. Conflict resolution “is the process by which two or more parties engaged in a disagreement, dispute, or debate reach an agreement resolving it.”
The first stage of the project will be the production of a ‘Regional Report’, which aims to include a complete summary on the history and use of restorative practices in Malta, Ireland, Bulgaria, Spain and Germany, including a background on restorative justice. The summary will focus on the respective country, but will also include information on practices established throughout Europe and beyond.
The second stage of the project is the development of the course which will run as a pilot-test over the course of a year. The success of the course will be evaluated through an evaluation report, which will serve to indicate the value that the course has had for the participants and their respective clients and students. The course will be targeting law enforcement officials, psychologists, social workers, teachers, and other professionals working with students, victims of crime and domestic violence, migrants, and other groups.