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3.4.4 Sanctions

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This procedure applies to children placed in foster care and residential care managed by the Authority, but the principles apply to the placement of every Child in Care. Therefore where Looked After Children are placed with parents, relatives or friends or in placements not managed by the Authority, the social worker must ensure these or other adequate procedures are applied.

It summarises the measures that should be taken when imposing Sanctions and the manner in which they should be recorded. 

The procedures in this Chapter must be read in conjunction with detailed Guidance on the use of Sanctions contained in Behaviour Management Guidance.

AMENDMENT

The chapter had some minor amendments to it in December 2013 as a result of changes made regarding the criteria for applying some sanctions.


Contents

  1. Non Approved Sanctions  
  2. Approved Sanctions  
  3. Informing Children  
  4. When Sanctions may be Imposed  
  5. Monitoring and Recording of Sanctions 


1. Non Approved Sanctions

Certain sanctions may not be imposed upon children, in any circumstances; they are listed in Behaviour Management Guidance.


2. Approved Sanctions

Where children are capable of behaving acceptably and understand what is expected, the sanctions that may be imposed upon a Child in Care are as follows:

  1. Reparation, involving the child doing something to put right the wrong they have done; e.g: repairing damage or returning stolen property;
  2. Restitution, involving the child paying for all or part of damage caused or the replacement of misappropriated monies or goods. Normally no more than two thirds of a child’s pocket money may be taken in these circumstances;
  3. Curtailment of leisure activities, involving a child being prevented from participating in such activities;
  4. Additional chores, involving a child undertaking additional chores over and above those they would normally be expected to do;
  5. Increased supervision, involving the child being closely supervised by staff/carers. Also see procedures in Physical Intervention Procedure, regarding Timeout and Withdrawal;
  6. Early bedtimes, by up to half an hour; (where agreed) different standards may apply within the Secure Unit;
  7. Suspension of pocket money for short periods.

Note: for children with disabilities or for children accessing Short Term Breaks, different standards will apply.


3. Informing Children

Children should be informed about the range of sanctions that may be imposed upon them and the possible circumstances which may result in sanctions.

Children should be informed as soon as possible and the reasons for imposing a sanction.

This information must be provided in a Children’s Guide or outlined in the Placement Plan for individual children.


4. When Sanctions may be Imposed

Only Approved Sanctions may be imposed, as a negative consequence for unacceptable behaviour with the intention of encouraging acceptable behaviour or acting as a disincentive for unacceptable behaviour.

Sanctions must never be imposed simply as a consequence of unacceptable behaviour.

Caution should be exercised to ensure that sanctions do not act as positive re-enforcement of unacceptable behaviour.

Children may have the opportunity to reduce the sanction by demonstrating positive behaviour management.

Before any sanction is imposed staff/carers must be satisfied of the following:

  1. That the child was capable of behaving acceptably and understands what was required of him/her;
  2. That other encouraging and rewarding Strategies have not worked or would not work in the circumstances;
  3. That the sanction imposed is relevant, fair and must last no longer than is absolutely necessary;
  4. That there is a view that the sanction may encourage acceptable behaviour or act as a disincentive to unacceptable behaviour.


5. Monitoring and Recording of Sanctions

The fostering supervising social worker and children’s individual social workers must monitor and review the use of sanctions by foster carers and be satisfied that they are used appropriately.

Foster Carers must record sanctions used in the child’s Daily Record.

In Children’s Homes, sanctions must be manually or electronically recorded in the Sanctions book/log kept by the home and may be recorded on an All Incident Record where required. They must also be noted in the child’s file and in the child’s Daily Record, with a cross-reference to the Sanctions Book for the detailed recording, if necessary.

End