MaryCruz’s child was referred to CCEJ after an incident at school brought him into contact with the juvenile justice system. Over six months, Restorative Practices in Communities (RPIC) staff and volunteers supported MaryCruz and her family to address the impact of the incident, create healing step agreements, and helped the family become closer through circle dialogue, 1-on-1 sessions, and case management. [scroll down for English translation below]

MC sitting in circle

Reflexiones en el impacto del programa RPIC para su familia:
Cada vez que vine [a las sesiones], me sentía como si estuviera recuperando parte de mi alma poco a poco. La experiencia en el [círculo] me pareció excelente. Nos dieron confianza para hablar y expresar lo que sentíamos. También respondieron nuestras dudas y miedos.

Los cambios que ha tenido mi familia han sido muy positivos. Estamos más unidos en todo y el niño ha cambiado mucho para bien. El impacto que ha tenido el programa para nosotros es que como familia a las muchas cosas que no conocíamos unos de otros y a los sentimientos de cada uno. Ya hemos aprendido a sacar y expresar todo—no guardamos nada y nos sentimos mejor. Ahora los niños tienen sus momentos para ellos y se disfrutan y cuando es todos también lo hacemos aunque sea no más estar juntos viendo tv.

[A familias que apenas están empezando con el proceso] les diría que cayeron en las mejores manos, que confíen y se dejen guiar. [Las que guardan el círculo] son unas profesionales en lo que hacen siempre con ese toque de humildad para dar confianza. Nosotros salimos de allí muy contentos y agradecidos y con muchos cambios para bien del niño y para todos. Extrañamos volver porque allí sentimos que fuimos una familia más porque así nos pidieron sentir cada las por todo.

Reflections on the impact of RPIC’s Restorative Youth Diversion program on her family:
Every time I came to the sessions, I felt like I was recovering parts of my soul little by little. The experience in the [circle] was excellent. [The circle keepers] gave us confidence to speak and express what we felt. They also answered our doubts and fears.

The changes that my family has seen have been very positive. We are more united in everything and my child has changed a lot for the better. The impact that the program has had for us is that as a family, we learned there are still many things that we do not know about each other and the feelings of each one of us has. Now we have learned to express ourselves and let everything out—we do not hide our feelings and we feel better. Now our children can enjoy time together just for them we are able to spend time together as a whole family, even if it is just being together watching TV.

I would tell [families who are starting this process] that they fell in the best hands and that they should trust the process and let themselves be guided. [The circle keepers] are always professional in what they do but have a touch of humility that helped us trust them. We left this process very happy and grateful, seeing many changes for the good in our child and for our whole family. We miss coming for sessions because the circle keepers helped us feel what each other felt, and this made all of us feel more like family.

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