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3.3 Sanctions


Positive Relationships Standard
Regulation 11


Children’s Guides Procedure


Section 1, Approved and Non Approved Sanctions and Section 4, Monitoring and Recording use of Sanctions were amended in August 2015 and should be re-read.


  1. Approved and Non Approved Sanctions
  2. Informing Children
  3. When Sanctions may be Imposed
  4. Monitoring and Recording use of Sanctions

    Appendix 1: Non Approved Sanctions

1. Approved and Non Approved Sanctions

The Sanctions that are approved for this Home are listed below, for a list of Non Approved Sanctions, see Appendix 1: Non Approved Sanctions.

The following restrictions, if placed upon a child, are deemed to be a Sanction and must be recorded as such:

  1. If not part of an agreed strategy in the child/young person’s Placement Plan the 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. See: Correspondence, Communication and Social Networking Procedure;
  2. The requirement for a child to get up or go to bed up to one hour before the normal time;
  3. The 'grounding' of a child within the home, or any restriction on a child from leaving the home. Although 'grounded', a child may only be prevented from leaving the home by the use of Physical Intervention in certain circumstances. See Restrictive Physical Intervention Procedure;
  4. Preventing a child from being carried in a vehicle; a 'Car Ban'; even if a car ban is in place staff can take children on essential journey's e.g. to visit parents, with the authority of the Manager and should be in consultation with the placing authority;
  5. Any restriction on the normal use of or undertaking of Activities or Leisure pursuits, including withdrawal or suspension of the use of a TV;
  6. Loss of privileges or any requirement on a child to undertake additional/extra household chores or tasks;
  7. The payment of pocket money as reparation for damage to property or theft. NB: Children may only be required to pay a maximum of 2/3 pocket money up to a maximum of six weeks for damage or theft.  

2. 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.

3. When Sanctions may be Imposed

Only Approved Sanctions may be imposed, as a negative 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 do not act as positive re-enforcement of unacceptable behaviour.

Before any sanction is imposed staff must be satisfied of the following:

  1. That the child was capable of behaving acceptably and understands what was required of him/her;
  2. Other encouraging and rewarding strategies have not worked or would not work in the circumstances;
  3. The sanction imposed is relevant, fair and must last no longer than is absolutely necessary
  4. There is a view that the sanction may encourage acceptable behaviour or act as a disincentive.

4. Monitoring and Recording use of Sanctions

The Home Manager must monitor and review the use of sanctions and be satisfied that they are used appropriately.

Sanctions should be an effective tool and any review must take into account effectiveness of the sanction imposed, the Registered Manager must ensure that if sanctions prove ineffective then other alternative methods are applied.

Sanctions must be noted in the Daily Log, Sanctions Record and individual child's Daily Record.

Appendix 1: Non Approved Sanctions

The following sanctions are not approved/prohibited:

  1. Any form of corporal punishment;
  2. Any punishment relating to the consumption or deprivation of food or drink;
  3. Any restriction, other than one imposed by a court, on a young person's contact with or visits to/from their parents, relatives or friends. Young people must be allowed access to a telephone help-line providing counselling for children and restriction may also not be made on communication with:
    • Any solicitor or other adviser or Advocate acting for the child;
    • Any officer of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service appointed for them;
    • Any social worker for the time being assigned to the young person by their Placing Authority;
    • Any person appointed in respect of a Complaints or Child Protection Investigation;
    • Any person appointed as an Independent Visitor for a young person;
    • Any person undertaking an inspection on behalf of the Regulatory Authority or authorised by them to visit/meet the young person;
    • Any person authorised by the local authority in whose area the children's home is situated.
  4. Withholding basic items of clothing or requiring that the young person wear distinctive or inappropriate clothes (except when required for educational purposes or special activities);
  5. The use or withholding of medication, medical or dental treatment;
  6. The intentional deprivation of sleep;
  7. The imposition of financial penalty (except by way of reparation);
  8. Any intimate physical examination of the young person;
  9. The withholding of any aids or equipment needed by a Disabled Child;
  10. Any measure which involves another young person in the imposition of any measure against another young person or the punishment of a group of young people for the behaviour of an individual.