Updated: 01 April 2017
There will be times when children and young people require a more structured living environment than what their own family can give them. Residential placements can help children and young people realise their full potential by providing individual and group programmes focused on change and growth, intensive clinical services, specialised education services, cultural engagement, physical activities, clear boundaries and support. Although they tend to be short in duration, residential placements offer children and young people an intensive, therapeutic response which ultimately seeks to get them back on track with their lives.
This policy outlines what residential staff must do while working with children and young people in residences.
Residential care provides a safe and stable placement for children and young people when they cannot be placed in the community. We need to:
When a child or young person arrives at a residence, their residential case leader must ensure the child or young person:
On the day of admission, staff must create an Operational Plan for the child or young person that will be available to all staff.
Within 7 days of admission, the residential case leader must develop an Individual Care Plan for the child or young person which covers:
All children and young people who enter a residence must have a placement created in CYRAS to reflect this.
Individual Care Plans are essential to keeping children and young people's needs at the centre of a residential placement. They should be written in language the child understands. To make sure everyone is engaged with the plan, get the views of family/whānau and/or caregivers, and the site social worker.
A child or young person's Individual Care Plan must be reviewed at least once every 4 weeks, and updated as necessary. This review will include all relevant parties, including health and education services.
When health or education assessments result in a treatment or education plan, this updated information must be added to the child or young person's plan.
For residential stays of less than 5 days, the same admission process as above will occur for each child or young person. We must complete an Operational Plan detailing the specific strengths and needs of the child or young person, education, recreational activities and contact with significant others.
Senior residential staff must make sure:
If a child or young person refuses their medication, their case leader and the medical team must be advised. Persistent refusal of medication must be discussed with the team leader clinical practice to decide on an appropriate course of action.
All controlled drugs must be checked daily and audited weekly by a team leader and a registered nurse together. All unused medication must be given to and disposed of by a health professional. Staff also must record when they have administered over-the-counter medication.
All property coming into the residence on admission and during the child or young person's residential stay must be:
When the child or young person leaves the residence, their property must be signed out both by them and a staff member. Property that is not permitted in the residence must be stored safely and securely until the child or young person leaves, or returned to the family or site social worker.
Each residence must have a process in place for children and young people to make a lost property claim and have their claim investigated.
In some situations, children and young people can have an electronic device, use social media and play music while in the residence. This is written into their operational plan.
Scheduled escorts are planned and undertaken between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday. There will be times when a young person arrives outside these hours and this must be discussed with senior staff at the residence.
All escorts must be carried out professionally to ensure the child or young person is safely and securely escorted to and from their destination while being treated with dignity and respect.
Before the escort, the case leader must complete the Off Site Activity/Event on the Risk Assessment Form. This form must be signed off by a team leader or the staff member on the senior duty roster, before the escort takes place. If, for some reason, the form cannot be completed before the escort takes place, the escorting staff must get the approval of the residence manager before they leave.
The case leader must tell the child or young person of the travel as soon as possible.
Escorting staff must ensure that:
There must be a minimum of 2 Oranga Tamariki employees, who have been trained in carrying out escorts and in The Management of Actual or Potential Aggressions (MAPA). A minimum of one escort will be the same gender as the child or young person.
Where two or more children or young people are being escorted at the same time, the residence manager must approve the ratio of children and young people to staff.
Care and protection residence managers can approve a care and protection young person being escorted by one staff member.
Escorting staff must ensure the:
One escort must travel in the back with the young person.
Escorting staff must travel from the residence to their destination and back to the residence without making any stops (i.e. no stopping to visit the children or young person's family/whānau, for food or toilet stops) unless it is planned and approved on the Risk Assessment Form. If anyone needs to use the toilet while on the road they must only stop at police stations.
In the event of an emergency, unless it is considered unsafe, the child or young person must stay in the vehicle. In emergencies, the escort staff must ensure the safety and wellbeing of the child or young person and themselves. The staff must contact the residence manager as soon as possible and advise them of the emergency.
When Police are assisting with the escort, at least one staff member must accompany the young person.
Care and protection residence managers can give approval for young people to be escorted by air with a single staff member who is the same gender as the young person. Escorting staff must follow the decisions made by the Court (i.e. the Judge or Registrar) and comply with all reasonable requests from court staff.
Legislation that impacts on youth justice escorts includes the:
When young people are arrested after hours, during the weekends or on public holidays, they may require Oranga Tamariki escorts for transport to a residence. If there are no beds available, they remain in cells until the next available youth court date.
The Contact Centre holds the delegated supervisory responsibility for after-hours placement of young people. They will advise what we must do to comply with all policy and practice.
Young people must not remain in cells just because of transport issues. When a placement is available, young people must be transported as soon as possible. Residential services may have limited capability for escorting during after-hours and holiday periods, so talk to residences to see whether they can help.
When the Contact Centre receives a notification from the Police that a child or young person has been arrested, they must ask:
The Contact Centre calls out the local after hours duty social worker, who must make arrangements to visit the child or young person at the police station. They must also:
Contact the duty supervisor at the Contact Centre or the local youth justice manager if you need further guidance.
In some areas of New Zealand there are limited flights available to escort young people after-hours. It may not be in the young person’s best interest to drive them for extensive periods for time to a residence.
When all viable escorting options have been investigated and there are no options, a young person can be held in Police custody until the next Youth Court or until a safe escort can be arranged. On rare occasions this stay may exceed 24 hours. All conversations about the rationale for the s236 (detaining a young person in police custody) must be fully documented in CYRAS.
We value feedback from our young people. They can make a complaint if they feel they have been treated unfairly, unreasonably or illegally, and they can also make suggestions or give us feedback if they feel they want things changed.
When children or young people want to make a complaint, make suggestions, or give feedback, we must :
Handover meetings occur for all shifts and this handover must be conducted by the team leader or the shift leader and must include debrief from the previous shift.
At this time:
All work in a residence needs to happen within a context of professional supervision — the Professional Supervision policy guides practice for residential social workers.
The primary task of the residence’s care team is to engage the child or young person and proactively manage their behaviour, in line with Behaviour Change practice and the Punctuated Practice approach.
During each shift, all staff members must be in the line of sight of at least one other staff member and all children and young people must be in the line of sight of at least one staff member.
At the beginning and end of each night shift, a count of the number of children and young people in the residence must be done jointly by staff members from both the beginning and end shifts.
The frequency of checks on children and young people must be aligned to the current needs of the child or young person as identified in their Operational Plan, including if they have been identified as being at risk of suicide and/or self-harm. At a minimum, each child or young person must be sighted by a staff member at least once every 30 minutes.
Any other requirements in the child or young person's Operational Plan relating to their bedtime routine must also be followed.
When staff complete their checks, they must use the I-button at all times.
The daily log must be completed every night, with every incident, event or period of unsettled behaviour by a young person recorded accurately. The night shift supervisor may only sign off the daily log once he or she is satisfied that it has been completed correctly and accurately.
Any issues with either using the I-button probe or I-button recording must be entered in the daily log and alerted to the night shift supervisor.
Shift Planning and Debriefing Sheets and Shift Summary Sheets must be completed accurately and reflect who is responsible for specific duties during the night shift.
Before we do a mail search or search a child or young person, we must have reasonable grounds to believe they are in possession of an unauthorised item.
All children and young people leaving the residence must have recorded in their plan a process for their transition from the residence to their new placement which is jointly developed by the Multi-Agency Team (MAT) and includes both the residential case leader and site social worker.
For children and young people returning home, we must hold a planning meeting at least 2 weeks before the move involving:
At this meeting, professionals will ensure that the services and supports needed are in place.
Each child or young person must have a transition process prepared for their discharge.
The following documents will guide you through this process:
Get guidance on implementing the policy: