Keeping children and young people safe at night
This key information details what residence staff need to do to keep children and young people safe over night.
As part of taking good care of children and young people in residences and keeping them safe, we regularly check and monitor them at night time.
What the policy says
The Working with Children and Young People in Residences policy says that:
- 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 policy also outlines recording requirements.
- We let all children and young people know that when they come into a residence we monitor and check on them regularly to ensure that they are safe.
- At the start and end of a night shift, staff from each shift do a joint check on all children and young people.
- All staff know how many young people are in their residence and where they are all placed.
- The frequency of checks is aligned with each young person’s needs and is documented in their individual Operational Plan.
- If we are concerned about a child or young person, we put in place an intensive monitoring programme specifically for them. This is recorded in their Operational Plan or their risk management plan. Where a young person is at risk of suicide or self harm they are monitored according to their degree of risk which is stated in their Operational Plan/Panui Tohutohu.
- Accurate records are kept through the Mobile Patrol Management Solutions system, TourTrax, which is used for night time monitoring.
At the start and end of shifts
At the beginning and end of each night shift, the off-going staff need to let other staff know:
- the ‘mood’ of the residence
- if there are children and young people that they are concerned about — if any young people are planning or acting in ways that are different from the norm, acting suspicious or secretive, or if staff have a gut feeling that things are not as they should be.
This information is recorded in the Daily Log.
A count of the number of children and young people in the residence must be undertaken jointly by staff from both shifts.
Frequency of checks
The frequency of checks on children and young people must be aligned to the current needs of each child and young person as identified in their Operational Plan.
For children and young people who are high risk, they must have written into their Operational Plan the monitoring checks that are to be completed — i.e., constant observations, or at a specific stated interval.
Each young person must be sighted (either their skin or movement) by staff every 15–30 minutes, unless their Operational Plan calls for more frequent checks. When checking a room, illuminate the room but do not shine a torch on the young person.
Any other bedtime requirements are stated in each young person's Operational Plan.
As far as practicable, one staff member must remain in the Hub and retain line of sight of the other night staff member. This is to enable instant radio contact with the Night Supervisor or designated other person when an event occurs which requires additional staff support or otherwise threatens the security of the unit or facility.
Further monitoring at night occurs via intercoms and room audio monitors.
Residences use their Daily Log to record monitoring times. The Daily Log must be completed every night, and record accurately every incident, event or period of unsettled behaviour by a child or young person. The designated staff member or night shift supervisor may only sign off the Daily Log once he or she is satisfied that it has been completed correctly and accurately. When staff complete their routine checks, they must:
- pass the "wand" over the checkpoints or stations to record the check into TourTrax
- record specific incidents, e.g. unlocked doors or graffiti, in the Incident Wallet
- accurately complete Shift Planning and Debriefing Sheets and Shift Summary Sheets.
Any issues with either using the “wand” or checkpoint or stations recordings must be entered in the Daily Log and alerted to the night shift supervisor.
TourTrax is the system used during the night for security and controls in residences. The Residence Manager has overall responsibility for TourTrax and ensuring it is in working order.
The TourTrax Master Profile is managed through National Office by the Team Leader Residences Support Services. This also includes the management of the hardware, including faults, breakages, and battery replacements. These can be referred to National Office for attention.
The TourTrax summary report is reviewed weekly at each residence to see if there were any problems and how often these occurred. If further information is required, you can click on the Tour Name and a full report will pop up.
For a comprehensive guide to using the system, the TourTrax Reference guide is located in the residences.