Source: (2003) VOMA Connections no. 16 (Winter): 3-4. Downloaded 19 May 2004.Carolyn McLeod begins this article with the observation that theorists and practitioners of restorative justice have learned much over the years – some of it by sheer trial and error – in working with victims and offenders. Many lessons have been learned and are being learned; corrections and adjustments have often been made and continue to be made. In this vein, she points to a fundamental change in the way the majority of programs viewed parents a little over a decade ago. Specifically, she notes that some practitioners and programs viewed parents of victims or offenders as obstacles to effective restorative justice processes. Hence, parents were often excluded or kept at a distance. Convinced that this perspective was wrong, McLeod has worked for more than a decade to make the case that parents are vital in restorative justice processes. In this article she explains reasons for seeing parents as essential and for involving parents in integral ways.