26th May 2022

Pact has recently launched new training courses for service staff and volunteers following collaboration with national consultancy and training provider Interface Enterprises. The partnership aims to further enhance the way the charity works with prisoners and their families to support their health and wellbeing, rebuild relationships, and turn their lives around.

Interface is a national provider of specialist support, evaluation, training, information, and resources for those working to transform the lives of vulnerable children, individuals, and families. Established since 2010, the organisation works with UK local authorities, schools and academies, housing associations, the voluntary sector and health colleagues to develop professional practice and transform the way services are delivered.

Pact has worked with Interface to develop three courses that will develop the team’s approach to working with people:

  • The first, ‘Trauma Informed Practice’, highlights the importance of working in a way that acknowledges the complete picture of a person’s life and experiences to deliver effective support. It will help Pact staff and volunteers to recognise signs of past trauma, understand their current impact, and work sensitively to avoid triggering past traumas.
  • The ’Restorative Practice’ course embeds learning about the power of interactions that promote healing and growth in response to conflict. The course explores the processes, values and principles of restorative practice, specifically in relation to restorative justice, and suggests ways in which staff can work with service users to proactively build relationships and prevent conflict.
  • Family Group Conferencing’ builds on ‘Restorative Practice’, offering theory and structure to complement practical skills training. The underlying approach prepares staff and volunteers to hold family meetings, and to assist families in addressing current issues and challenges so that they can move forward together.

Earlier this year, independent think tank The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) published its report, ‘The Golden Thread’, calling for significant cultural change to place good relationships at the heart of every stage of the criminal justice system. This includes tackling the trauma of arrest, recognising the impact of sentencing on family, maintaining connection during custody, and preparing both prisoners and their families for life after prison.  These concepts are central to Pact’s work at the intersection of criminal justice, child and family welfare, mental health, wellbeing provision, and health and social care, and this latest project will help to empower service users to build and maintain those vital family ties.

Pact’s Assistant Director of Services Jo Mulcahy said:

We hugely value our working partnership with  Interface, which allows us to access high quality, relevant training delivered by experienced practitioners. Our collaboration will ensure that staff and volunteers are knowledgeable and confident in applying the latest evidence-based approaches to their work, ultimately securing the best possible outcomes for people's futures.

Interface Enterprises CEO Wendy Weal said:

We have a long-term relationship with Pact and share their vision around building relationships and healing. We have been delighted to support them in their aim to ensure staff truly understand the impact of trauma and apply this lens to their work with prisoners and their children and families. It is truly a pleasure to work with an organisation who share similar values, who understand the impact of relationship-based practice and are committed to embedding this into all that they do.

Pact’s latest training courses, produced in collaboration with Interface, can be accessed by staff and volunteers across the organisation through Pact’s online training hub, Pact Academy. You can find out more about Interface Enterprises at interfaceenterprises.co.uk.