Behaviour Management (Secure Accommodation)

Within secure accommodation circumstances may arise where behaviour needs to be managed to protect young people and staff. Whilst it is recognised that the first level of intervention must be verbal further intervention in the form of sanctions and or restraint may be necessary to ensure safety. Records will be kept of each intervention to ensure the rights and safety of young people and staff.


This policy recognises the right of every young person to have his or her physical, emotional, social and intellectual needs met within a safe environment.  The aim of any placement in secure is to promote the development of each young person's potential and to enable him/her to function effectively in society.  Therefore in caring for young people within secure accommodation attempts to promote positive behaviours and thought processes enabling young people to make choices and take risks as part of the developmental process will underpin each placement.

Thus the emphasis of appropriate behaviours is set within the context of the professional relationship with the young people and clear expectations in terms of consideration for others and safety both for the individual and others.  It is hoped that by these means to enable the young person to establish internal controls and promote their responsibility for their actions.  This policy takes account of good practice as promoted by the Department of Health, notably Guidance on Permissible Forms of Control in Young People's Residential Care (1993) and The Young People Act (1989) Vol. 4


It is recognised and promoted within staff the team that positive messages to young people, about their achievements of acceptable behaviour, is the starting point for behaviour management. However, sanctions as a response will play a part in the process of changing inappropriate behaviours.  Staff will only apply accepted sanctions and will be fair and reasonable in their decision-making, consulting on the appropriateness of the sanction with a senior where possible or a colleague. The skills of negotiation must be built into the application of sanctions as this results in young people learning the skill for their future development.

Any measure taken to respond to unacceptable behaviour will be appropriate to the age, understanding and individual needs of the young person.  In addition any measure will be time limited and will be appropriate to the behaviour being managed.  All use of sanctions will be recorded in both the sanctions log and in the young person's file.


PROHIBITED forms of control/sanction, and/or restraint

Any act or threat of the act such as hitting, kicking slapping, punching, poking, prodding, biting, throwing an object, rough handling etc. which causes or threatens harm or the expectation of harm to a young person is strictly forbidden and constitutes gross misconduct.  Staff indulging in such behaviours renders them liable to summary dismissal and the possibility of prosecution.

The restriction on or refusal of contacts with family or friends must not be used as punishment.  However this does not prevent the planned, agreed prevention or regulation of such visits and /or communication for the purposes of protection.

No young person is to be required to wear any clothing, footwear, badge, hairstyle or other mark intended to indicate or act as a punishment.  Nor shall any clothing or footwear inappropriate to the time of day or year and the type of activity being undertaken be enforced.  The withdrawal of clothing or footwear as a means of punishment or restraint is also prohibited.

The imposition or collection of fines for misbehaviour is not permitted

Intimate physical searches by staff are prohibited PERMISSIBLE forms of control and restraint

By the use of voice control, talking, use of humour

Repayment in part or full for items broken/damage/misappropriation of monies up to a maximum of one third of his/her pocket money (if given)

For example, no board/computer games/ no use of electrical equipment


All staff will be trained in and be given access to the relevant documents used to support this policy.


All incidents of control and restraint will be recorded in the log and a fuller description given on the restraint form.  Copies of such restraints will be passed onto the social worker and a copy kept on the unit and in the young person's file.