Privacy in Children's Homes

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter provides a policy framework for Privacy in Children's Homes.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Locks
  3. Room Searches
  4. Letters and Phone Calls
  5. Personal Care and Privacy
  6. Access Room


1. Introduction

Children and young people will be given as much privacy as is fitting for their age.

All children and young people will be encouraged to respect the privacy of others.

Each child or young person will have their own bedroom which is their personal space.

They will be able to personalise their bedroom by putting up posters or displays of their artwork. It may also be possible to re-arrange the furniture in the bedroom but this will be dependant on the room size and other furnishings in the room.


2. Locks

All bedrooms should have a lock on the door.

Older children must have a key to their room, unless this would be unsafe. The reasons why a child or young person cannot have a key must be substantial and these must be recorded in the child's file.

Staff must always knock on the bedroom door before entering a child's room.


3. Room Searches

Bedrooms should not be generally entered without the child’s permission. Where it is necessary to conduct a room search, this should take place after the child has been informed or permission given.

If an immediate search of a child's room is required (for exampled to look for "forbidden" items such as drugs, stolen property, weapons), two members of staff must carry out the search and record the event.

Where ever possible the young person should also be present when their room is being searched.

See also: Bedrooms.


4. Letters and Phone Calls

Children and young people should receive any post/letters unopened unless there are safeguarding concerns.

Children should be able to make telephone calls in private, but where there are serious safeguarding concerns it may be necessary for telephone calls to be monitored.

Where monitoring is required it should be recorded in the child's file. The Home Manager must agree to the monitoring of the child's post or telephone calls.


5. Personal Care and Privacy

Dependant on a child's age and physical abilities they should use the bathroom unsupervised.

On admission to the Home girls should be told where sanitary protection is kept to prevent future embarrassment.

Where a child is going to need assistance with personal care this will be included in the child's Placement Plan.

In some situations this may be only recognised after the child has moved into the Home and it can be included in the child's Placement Plan.


6. Access Room

All Children's Homes should have a room which the child or young person can use for their visitors i.e. family, friends, social worker or solicitor.

Every effort should be made to ensure that the young person has an opportunity to use the room and have their visit take place in private.