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5.10.3 Consequences


This chapter should be read in conjunction with Behaviour Management Plans Procedure.


This chapter was reviewed and updated in July 2017 and re-titled as a result. All young people should understand the rules of the home and consequences to behaviours. Consequences should be given in order to improve the outcomes for our children.

Consequences should be in accordance with the Behaviour Management Plan for a child. If a restraint or consequences are imposed, this should be on the basis of danger/risks for a child and the manager should be informed immediately with a chronology of events completed before the staff member’s shift is completed. (See Section 2, Permissible Consequences).


  1. Non Permissible Consequences 
  2. Permissible Consequences 
  3. Informing Children 
  4. When Consequences may be Imposed
  5. Monitoring and Recording use of Consequences

1. Non Permissible Consequences

Certain consequences may not be imposed upon children, in any circumstances, they are:

  1. Any form of corporal punishment; i.e. any intentional application of force as punishment, including slapping, punching, rough handling and throwing missiles;
  2. Any consequences relating to the consumption or deprivation of food or drink;
  3. Any restriction on a child’s contact with his or her parents, relatives or friends; visits to the child by his or her parents, relatives or friends or anyone acting in an official capacity e.g. social worker, solicitor, advocate, independent visitor;

    This does not prevent contact or communication being restricted in exceptional circumstances, where it is necessary to do so to protect the child or others;

  4. Any requirement that a child wear distinctive or inappropriate clothes;
  5. The use or withholding of medication or medical or dental treatment;
  6. The intentional deprivation of sleep as a consequence;
  7. The modification of a child’s behaviour through bribery or the use of threats;
  8. Any consequences used intentionally or unintentionally which may humiliate a child or could cause them to be ridiculed;
  9. The imposition of any fine or financial penalty, other than a requirement for the payment of a reasonable sum by way of reparation;

    The Court may impose fines upon children which staff/carers should encourage and support them to repay;

  10. Any intimate physical examination of a child;
  11. The withholding of aids/equipment needed by a disabled child;
  12. Any measure which involves a child in the imposition of any measure against any other child; or the consequence of a group of children for the behaviour of an individual child;
  13. Swearing at or the use of foul, demeaning or humiliating language or measures.

2. Permissible Consequences

Those consequences that are permissible to use are set out in the Behaviour Management Plans Procedure. All young people should understand the rules of the home and consequences to behaviours. Consequences should be given in order to improve the outcomes for our children.

3. Informing Children

Children should be informed about the range of consequences that may be imposed upon them and the possible circumstances which may result in consequences, for example in the Young Peoples Guide, behaviour management plans and or direct work with the young person when making plans for rewards and consequences Discussions should take place with children as part of the admission process and be incorporated into their behaviour plan.

4. When Consequences may be Imposed

Only permissible consequences may be imposed. 

consequences may only be imposed, as a last resort, where it is not possible to use other, more positive methods of control. consequences within KMBC residential homes will be clear in behaviour management plans and consequence books.

Caution should be exercised to ensure that consequences are not imposed repeatedly, with little or no effect or where they may act as positive re-enforcement of unacceptable behaviour. 

Before any consequence is imposed staff/carers must be satisfied of the following:

  1. That the child was capable of behaving acceptably and understands what was required of him/her;
  2. That other encouraging and rewarding strategies have not worked or would not work in the circumstances;
  3. That the consequence imposed is relevant, fair and must last no longer than is absolutely necessary;
  4. That there is a view that the consequence may encourage acceptable behaviour or act as a disincentive to unacceptable behaviour;
  5. That it will not be applied open-endedly without effect;
  6. That the child understands the relevance of the consequence.

5. Monitoring and Recording use of Consequences

Consequences must be reviewed regularly and revised if appropriate.

Any use of consequences must be recorded in the appropriate place and children should be given the opportunity to make comment, in writing, if they wish. These records are monitored as part of the regulatory processes applied to the setting.

In relation to residential homes, if restraint and or consequences have been in place outside of the managers agreed plans for a child a full report with chronology of events should be completed before the end of a shift and a manager informed immediately. This should not take place unless it is believed that a child is placing themselves in danger.