3.4.4 Sanctions

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This procedure applies to children placed in Residential Care and Foster Homes managed by this Authority, but the principles may be adopted for children living in other Looked After placements.

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.


Contents

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


1. Non Approved Sanctions

Certain sanctions may not be imposed upon children, in any circumstances; they are listed in Section 4.3, Non-Approved Sanctions, of Behaviour Management Guidance.


2. Approved Sanctions

It is for each home (Children’s Home and Foster Home) to decide the range of sanctions that may be imposed on children from those, set out below, which are approved by the authority. Staff/carers and children should be notified of the sanctions that may be imposed. The sanctions that are approved by the authority are:

  1. Confiscation or withdrawal of a telephone or mobile ‘phone in order to protect a child or another person from harm, injury or to protect property from being damaged. Also see Correspondence: Telephone, Mobile 'Phones and Letters Procedure.
  2. Restriction on sending or receiving letters or other correspondence in order to protect a child or another person from harm, injury or to protect property from being damaged. “Correspondence” may also include internet/chat room access etc. Misuse of the internet for such purposes should be reported to the child’s social worker and fostering supervising social worker or the manager of the home. 

    Also see:

    Correspondence: Telephone, Mobile 'Phones and Letters Procedure

    E-Safety Children Exposed to Abuse through Digital Media;
  3. Reparation, involving the child doing something to put right the wrong they have done; e.g.: repairing damage or returning stolen property.
  4. Restitution, involving the child paying for all or part of damage caused or the replacement of misappropriated monies or goods. No more than two thirds of a child’s pocket money may be taken in a single weekly episode unless the manager authorises it, in consultation with the social worker.
  5. Curtailment of leisure activities, involving a child being prevented from participating in such activities. This can include going out with friends or going on an activity provided by the carer.
  6. Additional chores, involving a child undertaking additional chores over and above those they would normally be expected to do.
  7. Increased supervision, involving the child being closely supervised by staff/carers. Also see procedures in Physical Interventions Procedure, Section 6, Seclusion, Timeout and Withdrawal
  8. Early bedtimes, by up to half an hour or as agreed with the child’s social worker
  9. Removal of equipment or property, for example TV or video/DVD player. This can include equipment or property belonging to the child. 
  10. Loss of privileges, for example the withdrawal of the privilege of staying up late.
  11. Withholding of pocket money for short periods appropriate to the misdemeanour. This should usually be hours but up to a maximum of four days.


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. 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, listed in Section 2, Approved Sanctions, may be imposed, as a consequence for unacceptable behaviour. 

Sanctions may only be imposed as a last resort 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 are not imposed repeatedly, with little or no effect or where they may act as positive re-enforcement of unacceptable behaviour. Further guidance is provided in Behaviour Management Guidance.

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. That it will not be applied open-endedly without effect. 
  6. That the child understands the relevance of the sanction.


5. Consultation Before Imposing Sanctions

All staff/carers on duty or who may be involved in the imposition of sanctions should be consulted before a sanction is imposed.

Children should also be involved and, preferably, should agree to or understand the relevance of the sanction. 

Any disagreements should be recorded, with an explanation of the decision to over rule the disagreement.

In consultation with the child’s social worker (who may consult the child’s parent(s)), the manager (Supervising Social Worker) must authorise the following sanctions:

  1. Non urgent confiscation or withdrawal of a telephone or mobile ‘phone (See Correspondence and Communication Procedure)
  2. Restriction on sending or receiving letters or other correspondence. 
  3. The confiscation of more than two thirds of a child’s pocket in a single weekly episode for reparation.
  4. Increased supervision, involving the child being closely supervised by staff/carers. 
  5. The sending of a child to bed for more than half an hour longer than normal.
  6. Withholding of pocket money for more than four days.
  7. The imposition of any other sanction for the 3rd or subsequent time in a 7 day period.


6. Monitoring and Recording of Sanctions

The following must recorded:

If there is any disagreement about the sanction, this must also be recorded, explaining why the disagreement was over ruled.

In Foster Homes, sanctions must be recorded in the following way:

  1. Social workers and supervising social workers should be informed of any sanctions where this is required above.
  2. All sanctions (and where a notification is made) should be recorded in the Foster Carer’s Diary of Events for the child. (Social workers and supervising social workers should make a note on the case file.

In Children’s Homes, sanctions must be recorded in the child’s Daily Record/Occurrence Record and in the Sanctions book; a copy of the sanctions book record should be placed on the child’s file.

End