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Restraining Policy


Guest geoalex
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Hi everyone

 

A while a go I wrote asking for advice on a child that was disruptive and aggressive towards other children and the staff. Thanks for the advice offered it was very helpful.

 

We still have the child who did calm down a little (we are giving him 1:1 at much cost to ourselves!! - still waiting to see if we can get some funding!). However, since returning after the summer holidays he has started biting the staff, children and even himself. Drawing blood on some occasions. Obviously parents are not happy and so far 3 have threatened to withdraw their children from our setting (as a parent myself I don't blame them!). We have had Birth to 5 Services come in to observe him and they are trying to arrange some funding, but in the mean time she has suggested that we have a 'restraining policy' for when we have to hold him, to stop him hurting people, does anyone else have one?

 

The child is 4, and I really am at a loss about what to say to the parent whose child has been bitten and also how to help mum cope. His speech is very delayed and mum is waiting to see SALT. We watch him very closely, but sometimes he will just lunge at someone walking past him and sink his teeth into them for no apparent reason. He is also in every day which makes life very stressfull for the staff, and we struggle to get planned activities done as often 2 members of staff are dealing with this one child. Like I've said we are at the moment paying for an extra member of staff each day - we are a charity and can not afford to do this.

 

I now I've rambled a lot, but any advice offered would be gratefully recieved and thoughts on a restraining policy too please.

 

Thanks

Geoalex

 

PS the committee want to exclude him.

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hi

We have a 3 year old child who is often violent towards other children and staff, not biting but hitting, headbutting, slapping, throwing things etc.. He too does things unexpectedly and often hits his target because it is so random there is no predicting or pre-empting it. He is very disruptive

I think your idea of a restraining policy is a good idea, and the fact you already have provided a one to one for him shows u r committed to helping him, can't your area SENCO help?

I will have a search for a restraining policy and let u know what i find i think we could do with one as well.

 

em x

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sorry I meant to ask what do his parents say about his behaviour? whats he like at home? how involved have they been? maybe they could reduce the number of days he attends. At least just to give u, ur staff and the other children a break, it must affect the group dynamics enormously, we have two sessions where our child does not come and the difference it makes on those days is unbelievable.

 

em x

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Hi geo, I cant really help with a restraining policy but I have read a behaviour policy that mentioned restraint. It mentioned how, if restrint was needed the details of why and who would be repoted on an incident form.

As to you having to pay a member of staff have you asked the PLA for help? You dont have to be a member to apply for the help of one of their SEN workers. So far as I'm aware they will give you 70 hours of help, its for you all to decide how best to use those hours. There doesnt have to have been a statement or any formal diagnosis of SEN.

Good luck :o

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sorry I meant to ask what do his parents say about his behaviour? whats he like at home? how involved have they been? maybe they could reduce the number of days he attends. At least just to give u, ur staff and the other children a break, it must affect the group dynamics enormously, we have two sessions where our child does not come and the difference it makes on those days is unbelievable.

 

em x

His parents say that he is fine at home, but we think they are just telling us what they think we want to hear. His siblings are all much older (late teens) so he is used to getting his own way. Mum is very supportive of how we are handling him though. Apparently we can not tell mum to only bring him for say three sessions a week, as that means we are effectively 'excluding' him from the other two. We need to put the thought into mum's head so that she comes up with the idea of cutting his days!! We are I think going to ask her to collect him early each day.

 

We don't want to give up on this child as he deserves a chance, just as the other children deserve to come to playgroup and not be attacked!!!

 

Geoalex

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Not sure that your Birth to 5 service 'advisor' was very useful for you, it's all very well saying write a policy but 'restraining' children has legal implications so unless you have a 'no restraint at all' policy training is really needed.

 

Before I closed my preschool I asked my local SENCO advisor to set up some training for local settings, his response was that the LA wouldn't or couldn't because of 'insurance' difficulties, ie: if they provide the training they are then liable for any subsequant claims if 'trained' persons are sued. (I think that's what he meant anyway)

 

I really empathise with your problem and it is important that you think seriously about how you manage this young lad. I totally agree that he shouldn't be excluded (although again my Area SENCO advised that I excluded a girl I had who attended, who was violent towards others, he said it was cruel to be kind because she wouldn't get any help until she was excluded :o )

I didn't exclude her but found her very difficult to manage, she would stab other children with pencils, once pushed another child over and stomped on his head, and she would bite and 'hold on'. One day I excluded her frm the playroom, took her into my office, door open to main room, I then had an allegation made against me, (disgruntled supply staff member) that I 'dragged' her into the office, an awful Ofsted investigation followed which hung over my head for over a year (eventually cleared of allegation). So I have experienced a 'worse' scenario of dealing with a child with violent behaviour. In the end we asked her parents to attend with her for a while and asked for other agencies support ( who didn't get back to me until after she'd left to start school). Mum was happy with the prechool and how we supported her, other parents complained but I just explained that the child had as much a right to be at preschool as any child, and worked hard to promote the 'positives' of her nature.

 

 

As a foster carer;

 

I recently attended training on Safe handling (and de-escalation skills) S.H.A.D.E.S.

 

The main points I learnt were that physical intervention (the word 'restraint' is becoming politically incorrect) should only be used as a last resort. Other strategies to be tried first ie: triggers (and apparently there most always is one, although not always easily identified and often varied and not consistent), avoidence tequniques, distraction etc.

 

There have been cases of death by holding a child to the floor. (obviously not intentional but the person who experienced this tragedy (restrainer) never thought it would happen to them). The trainer was asked about biting and if I recall he first suggested moving the victims limb from the mouth, push limb into the mouth, rather than pull away then the biter will let go. This is more effective than trying to move the biter ( a natural reaction). He also demonstrated a way to 'open a jaw' although made clear that this technique can cause injury to the biter if not done properly.

 

This is a minefield and I suggest in the first place write a risk assessment based on this child. Your risk measure being how his attendence impacts on the regulatory requirements of keeping all children / employees and the child himself safe.

 

Ask your LA for training. I can give you the details of the trainer I had (send me a PM).

Ask your insurance company about whether you're covered for physical intervention.

Help the other children to understand that this child is still learning how not to bite and talk with them about ways they can avoid upsetting him. Try not to over react when children get bitten. (easy for me to say I know) this helps de-escalate te situation and helps the victim get over, deal with it better.

 

Send a copy of your risk assessment to your Area SENCO, keep badgering for support.

Is the child/family being supported by any other agencies, get them involved in helping you get training/staff support.

 

Good luck.

 

Let us know how it goes. And well done to you and your team for not 'giving up' on this child, I really do know how hard and draining it is. Give your staff praise and appreciation for their hard work with him. Enjoy his 'good points.

 

Peggy

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I can only echo what Peggy has said with regards to physical intervention being the ultimate last thing. At my school we're all trained in Team Teach which is a positive handling strategy. We have children with severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties and to my knowledge there is only 1 child that has physical contact written into their positive handling plan, all of the others have de-escilation techniques etc. I'd definately look into training.

http://www.team-teach.co.uk/ is the website for Team Teach.

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I have a child who is new to nursery this term.

 

So essentially she has been with us for 3/4 weeks.

 

Not long........... but the 2 days she was poorly last week were like a godsend!!

 

She impacts greatly on the others and how the session goes.

I know her background and I know we need to be patient but there are days where this is so hard.

 

I have already spoken to our SENCO staff member (in school) and am thinking today of asking for a more formal approach to the problems.

She has already got a provision map.

 

I do sympathise with you Geoalex.

Keep your chin up.

Its not a great help I know but at least you know that you do not suffer alone :o

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We had a paragraph in our behaviour policy too which said

 

Occasionally we may need to restrain a child if he or she is presenting a danger to him or herself, to others or to property, or is disrupting a playgroup activity and will not respond to verbal requests to stop. Excessive force will never be used and a child will not be held in a way that is restrictive to circulation or breathing, or is likely to damage the child. The restraint will last only for the time it is necessary. All serious incidents involving restraint will be carefully recorded and the parents or carers informed when they collect their child.
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