Childhood Development Initiative

A.     Service overview and contact details 

Focus of restorative justice (RJ) and restorative practices (RP) activities

Under its Restorative Practices Programme, CDI provides RP training at introductory and facilitation skills levels to statutory, community and voluntary organisations (including criminal justice agencies and schools) as well as parents, residents and young people. Its activities include training of RP trainers (to develop capacity and sustainability), the development of support networks (for sharing, learning and developing joint activities), and the development of a national RP network (Restorative Practices Ireland). On request, and drawing on a panel of trained facilitators, CDI offers facilitation services in conflict or dispute situations, and consultancy services for organisations adopting RP.

Year of commencement (RJ/RP elements)  


Service details

Childhood Development Initiative (CDI)

St. Mark’s Youth and Family Centre

Cookstown Lane



Dublin 24



Tel: 01 494 0030

Head of service 

Marian Quinn, CEO


Tel: 01 414 7376

Claire Casey, Restorative Practices Programme Manager


Tel: 01 414 7369

Staffing structure

CDI has an overall team of 15 staff. The Restorative Practices unit comprises one Restorative Practices Programme Manager and one Restorative Practices Programme Co-Ordinator. It works with a panel of Associate RP Quality Specialists (currently numbering 14) to deliver training and also draws on a network of over 80 independent trainers and facilitators that it has trained nationwide. 

Staff training in RJ/RP

All staff, Quality Specialists and independent trainers have undergone CDI-accredited RP training and many have additional RP/RJ qualifications and experience.

Use of volunteers

Not applicable

Volunteer training in RJ/RP  

Not applicable

Main source(s) of funding

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, Area Based Childhood Programme. The RP training activities generate some income.

Annual budget 

Total CDI income for 2019 was €1,825,920. Costs of RP training are partially offset by income form training fees. 

Nature of funding 


Organisational status 

Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee. CDI has a governance structure made up of various committees and lines of accountability.

Target client group 

Adults (e.g. service providers, parents, community residents, etc.) and school-aged children and young people.

Source of referrals

Statutory and community-based organisations. 

Geographic area of RJ/RP activity

RP training, consultancy and support is delivered nationally. CDI‘s main focus is on Tallaght.

B.     Nature of RJ/RP service

RJ/RP services provided

  1. Training 
  2. Consultancy and support 
  3. Facilitation of restorative meetings and conferences.

All CDI services are available to criminal justice agencies and it works or has worked with a number of them. 

RP Training courses include:

  • Getting Started with Restorative Practices (two half-days) providing an overview of Restorative Practices along with practical tools for using a restorative approach in daily life, including use of restorative language and restorative conversations.
  • Restorative Practices Facilitation Skills (3 days) including facilitation of restorative circles, restorative meetings and restorative conferences.
  • Training of Restorative Practices Trainers: Beginning with 5 days training, the course consists of approximately 60 hours part time over six to nine months and provides participants with the tools to deliver RP training in their chosen setting and to embed RP in their organisations.  
  • RP Skills for Positive Classroom and School Norms – Summer Course for Primary and Post-Primary Teachers (20 hours over 5 days).

RP consultancy and support services include:

  • Support for communities and organisations to develop and implement clear and achievable RP implementation plans.
  • Bespoke training for organisations that is designed to meet particular organisational needs.
  • Ongoing mentoring and training for organisations and communities embedding restorative practices.
  • Facilitation of RP Communities of Practice.

RP facilitation services include: 

  • Facilitation of restorative meetings and conferences to address and resolve conflict between individuals, in groups, and between groups.

Activity levels 

Training activity 2020 2019 2018 2017
Number of people trained 273 879 498 415

The number with criminal justice system backgrounds is not known.

Community participation 

Community participation in training: In 2018, 88 young people and 136 parents participated in training. Much of the training is focused on schools and community groups.


An internal assessment of participant evaluations of RP training reported in 2016 showed high levels of satisfaction.  From September 2019 to December 2020, 97% of people who did CDI’s RP courses were ‘Highly Satisfied’ or ‘Satisfied’ with the training and 92% of them said they would ‘Definitely ‘or were ‘Pretty Likely’ to use the skills learnt. 

An independent evaluation of the RP Programme was carried out by the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at the National University of Ireland, Galway (Fives, et al., 2013). The evaluation suggested that overall the RP Programme was effective for the management of conflict in Tallaght West with improvements in use of RP, conflict management skills, daily experience of conflict and quality of relationships, community safety and interagency collaboration. 

C.     Sources of further information 


Annual Reports

Policy Briefs