Case Study One
This incident took place in a London YOS where they started to use a restorative approach in all aspects of the work they did with young people.
A young man, Steve, turned up to the YOS late for an appointment. He was late for the second time and the worker he was due to see was now seeing another young person.
The young person started to get agitated and demanded that the receptionist “get the worker now”, Steve then went on to swear at the reception and called her a “fool”.
The duty worker was called and came down to see Steve-the situation was calmed down by the duty worker asking Steve to come with her into an empty room to talk about what the problem was.
The duty worker went through the restorative questions with Steve starting with “what happened?” and just listened to what he had to say. When the duty worker asked Steve, some minutes into the conversation, what he needed now, he said, for people to understand that sometimes he is late because he has to take his younger siblings nursery, as his mother was often too unwell to do this and that on this day he had to get back to the nursery by a certain time to pick up his sibling.
This was the first time workers at the YOS had been aware of this issue for Steve.
When the Duty worker asked Steve what needed to happen now for things to be put right with the receptionist-who was understand upset by what had happened and to get to his appointments on time Steve said that he needed to say sorry to the receptionist and explain why he was so angry about what had happened.
He wasn’t sure how to solve the problem of getting to his appointments on time but, now he had calmed down, he understood the reason that his worker had had to see another young person.
Steve agreed that he needed to talk over the issues of getting to his appointments on time with his worker.
The duty worker then went to the receptionist and asked her the same questions and she agreed to see Steve. They meet briefly in a quiet area of the reception and the receptionist was able to say how it was for her when young people came and behaved like that. Steve apologised and the receptionist thanked him.
After this brief meeting the reception thanked the duty worker for dealing with it in this way and said that it was good that Steve had been able to think about how it felt for her. She also said that she really felt this issue was taken seriously and that she was able to put it behind her and not continue to stew over it as she had done on previous occasions.
Steve said that he was good because now there wouldn’t be any bad feelings between them when he next came in. It was agreed that Steve would go home at this point, but discuss these issues further with his worker at his next appointment.