The law says restraint can only be used in a secure children’s home for one of the following three reasons:
- To stop a person being injured* (this includes the child being restrained) OR
- To stop serious damage to the property of any person (this includes property belonging to the child being restrained) OR
- To stop you running away from your secure children’s home.
*Injury can be to a person’s body or mind.
The government has given staff in your children’s home advice about restraint. This advice should always be followed. It says any use of restraint should be suitable for the individual child. This means staff should know you, understand you and restrain you in the way that’s best for you.
The government advice also says staff should think about these things when deciding whether or not to use restraint:
- Your age and understanding.
- Your size.
- If any disability or health problem you have is linked to your behavior.
- If any tablets or medicines you are taking is linked to your behavior.
- The risks if restraint is not used.
- Your views on what might help calm down the situation (you should have been asked these when you first came to the children’s home).
- What type of restraint would be best in the situation.
- What effect the restraint might have on your relationship with your carer.
Staff are not allowed to deliberately cause you pain when they restrain you.
Staff are not allowed to use restraint methods that may make it difficult for you to breathe. They are also not allowed to use restraint methods that involve holding you around your neck.
The person in charge of your children’s home must make sure staff are trained properly.
When your social worker and council found you this secure children’s home they should have checked that the training given to staff about restraint fits with the care they want for you. They should check that the restraint methods have been looked at by medically qualified people, and that they are safe for us with children.
If restraint is used in your children’s home, the law says a written record must be made within 24 hours. This must include:
- The name of the child who was restrained.
- Information about the child’s behaviour which led to the restraint.
- The date, time and place of the restraint.
- A description of the restraint and how long it lasted.
- Information about anything staff did to avoid the use of restraint.
- The name of the person who restrained the child and the names of any other people who were there at the time of the restraint.
- What happened as a result of the restraint, and whether it helped the situation.
- A description of any injury to the child or any other person, and any medical treatment received by anyone.
If you are ever restrained, you should get the chance to talk about your feelings as soon as you feel comfortable to do this. You should be able to add your views to the written record of restraint. You should be offered help from an advocate to speak about your feelings about the restraint.
Within 5 days of you being restrained, the law says the person in charge of your home must speak with you about it. They then must sign the written record to say they have done this.