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3.9.1 Barricading

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This procedure applies to children placed in Southwark's foster homes, but the principles apply to the placement of all Looked After Children. Therefore, where Looked After Children are placed with parents, kinship carers or in placements not managed by the authority, the social worker must ensure these or other adequate procedures are applied.


Contents

  1. Planning and Prevention
  2. General Principles
  3. Notifications
  4. Recording


1. Planning and Prevention

If there is any risk that a child may lock or barricade him/herself in a room so as to prevent access by the carers, a Risk Assessment must be undertaken and a suitable Strategy adopted to reduce or prevent it, preferably in writing.

If there are risks relating to an individual child, they should be accounted for in a Behaviour Management Plan.


2. General Principles

If children lock or barricade themselves in a room so as to prevent access by those caring for them, the actions that are necessary will depend on the risks posed.

2.1 Low Risk

If the risks are low, which means that there is no perceived risk of Injury, Damage to Property or of any offence being committed, the situation should be monitored and efforts made to obtain the child's co-operation to resolve it satisfactorily.

The Strategies that should be adopted will depend on the age, level of understanding of the child and other circumstances on the day. However, the foster carers should do what they can to maintain a low risk, and not to escalate the situation. 

2.2 Increased Risk

If there is a risk of Injury, Damage to Property or of an offence being committed, the action taken should depend on the immediacy and seriousness of those risks.

The Strategies that should be adopted will depend on the age, level of understanding of the child and other circumstances on the day. However, the foster carers should monitor the situation, doing what they can to reduce the risks. All decisions and actions taken must be recorded.

If possible, the fostering social worker and the child's social worker should be consulted before actions are taken. However, it is for the foster carers, on the spot, to decide what actions are necessary, having considered all the risks and strategies that are available to them.

If at all possible, the foster carers must act so as to reduce or prevent the need to act with force but, if the risks escalate to an extent that Physical Intervention, including forced entry is necessary, the foster carers may only act in keeping with relevant procedures in this Handbook.

Please see the following relevant procedures:

Contacting the Police Procedure

Physical Intervention Procedure


3. Notifications

There are different notification procedures depending on whether matters are concluded with or without the co-operation of children.

3.1 With Co-operation

If the occurrence is concluded with the co-operation of the child, in that no force has been used, the fostering social worker should be notified at the first opportunity; the fostering social worker will then decide whether to notify the child's social worker. 

3.2 Without Co-operation

If foster carers have to use forced entry or Physical Intervention, or the Police are called for assistance, it is deemed to be an Incident and the fostering social worker and child's social worker must be notified as soon as possible but within 24 hours.

The child's social worker should decide whether to inform the child's parent(s) and, if so, who should do so.

Depending on the seriousness of the Incident, other people/agencies may have to be notified. Appendix 1, Designated Managers, contains details of who should be notified.


4. Recording

There are different recording procedures depending on whether matters are concluded with or without the co-operation of children.

4.1 With Co-operation

In these circumstances, the occurrence should be recorded in the child's Daily Record.

4.2 Without Co-operation

The use of forced entry is automatically deemed to be an Incident, and must be recorded as such and subject to a Management Review.

Please see Incidents - General Guidance, for detail of the records that must be completed in the event of an Incident and the conducting of Management Reviews.

End