The Traumatic Stress Institute fosters the transformation of organizations and service systems to trauma-informed care (TIC) through the delivery of whole-system consultation, professional training, coaching, and research.

Restorative Approach® Training

The Restorative Approach® (RA) is a trauma-informed alternative to traditional “point and level” systems for child congregate care settings. Based on the book Trauma-Informed Care: The Restorative Approach by Patricia Wilcox, it answers the question: “Now that I understand how trauma affects children, what should I actually do on Monday?”

RA, rooted in attachment theory and the principles of restorative justice, translates what we know about trauma, the brain, and how children heal into specific strategies that all treatment providers can use. When children display behaviors that hurt others and the community, rather than “doing time” or dropping levels, staff assign learning and restorative tasks to help children learn skills and make amends. Therefore, after children lose control, they learn that all is not lost; they can handle emotions differently and take effective action to mend relationships.

The RA Basic Training is a one-day training that organizations can adopt as a standard staff training via the RA Train-the-Trainer. An organization’s Risking Connection Associate Trainers learn to teach the RA Basic Training so they can embed this training model in their organization in addition to Risking Connection. 

The Restorative Approach® Basic Training includes practical strategies for:

  • Using state-of-the-art brain science to understand negative behavior.
  • Responding to behaviors with concrete learning and restorative tasks.
  • Designing unit structure and programming to promote healing relationships.
  • Using a “working theory” about each client to guide daily life and respond to negative behavior.
  • Teaching children that effective action is possible and that problems within relationships can be solve.

“The Restorative Approach® has given us a concrete method to respond to the behaviors of our girls. Staff now have the tools they need to provide trauma- informed care.”

Jean Alberghini

Director of Residential Services, Noank Group Homes and Support Services, Inc in Noank, CT

About the Restorative Approach

Author Patricia Wilcox has written the essential guide to trauma-informed care with at-risk youth. In Trauma-Informed Treatment: The Restorative Approach, Wilcox provides a foundational understanding of trauma’s impact on the developing brain and then details its implications for treatment, the promotion of pro-social behaviors, and improving the culture among clients and staff. Incorporating the key concepts of compassionate understanding, validation, skill-teaching, and the primacy of trustworthy relationships for healing trauma and rebuilding connections in the child’s brain, Wilcox tackles some of the most difficult challenges in treatment settings with practical approaches grounded in theory and research. This book is an invaluable resource for parents, social workers, childcare staff, therapists, agency administrators, and anyone who cares about how kids are treated when they need skillful, trauma-informed care.