Elder harm

Kōrero Tahi: Using Restorative Circles for Addressing Harms Experienced by Older Persons.

The Chair in Restorative Justice is currently undertaking a pilot scheme to trial the use of restorative circles in situations of elder abuse, harm and neglect. The two-year pilot, funded by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), is carried out in partnership with Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley, Wesley Community Action, Age Concern Wellington, Victim Support, New Zealand Police and Capital and Coast District Health Board.

The pilot aims to implement a model that is victim sensitive, empowers older people to have a voice, strengthens positive family relationships and promotes justice and accountability. Based on restorative justice principles, the approach intends to create a safe space for repairing the harm and to develop a community of care around older people.

Accompanying research will evaluate processes and outcomes of 20 cases dealt through restorative circles. Of particular interest is the impact the new model has had on the older person’s sense of wellbeing, safety and connectedness to others.