Some Summer Holiday Reading

Restorative responses that are high both on accountability and support are widely evidenced not only for their culturally transferability but their ability to achieve high engagement, ownership and accountability, and empower individuals to change. Step Up is a model that could also be adapted for use in schools, preventative services and a range of family service providers.

(Lynette Robinson, p32)

A series of three articles about the Step Up programme, developed within the youth justice system in the US as a dedicated response to adolescent violence to parents:

Gregory Routt and Lily Anderson, writing in the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, describe the intervention and analyse data collected within the service.

Lynette Robinson gives a clear description of the programme as witnessed in Seattle and Toledo for her Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Report, linking it to her own practice of restorative justice within the UK.

Finally, Jo Howard has written a review for the DVRCV Quarterly (Domestic Violence Resource Centre, Victoria), asking how it can be incorporated into Australian responses to the problem.

For some more poignant reading, and a very personal account, I have just finished re-reading Julie Myerson’s book, The Lost Child. Julie Myerson may be familiar to British followers as the author of the Guardian’s Saturday column: Living with Teenagers, which ran anonymously for some time before she was “outed” by one of her sons’ friends. The fallout within the press centred on the supposed damage to the younger son, recognised within the coverage by all his friends. Predictably, I suppose, there was no sympathy at all regarding the appalling treatment meted out to her throughout by her older son. The relationship with him, and their journey through the gradual acknowledgment that his behaviour was abusive, to a sort of reconciliation, is neatly woven into this account of another “lost” child of the 1830s, whose life-story she pieces together as her own is falling apart.

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