St Paul’s Service established the Rights Committee in November 2012. The Committee meets on a quarterly basis. Its aims are to review and advise on the protection and safety of children and adolescences within the service. The committee has an advisory role and reports to and communicates directly with the Executive Management Committee.

Any individual using the service, their advocate or a member of staff may refer an issue to the Rights Committee.

It oversees best practice in the areas of:

  • Restrictive Practices
  • Basic Rights
  • Advocacy
  • Complaints

Each month since September 2019 The Rights Review Committee identify a ‘Right of the Month’ to focus attention upon. These are published below for staff and parents to reflect upon.

Right of the Month

September’s right of the month is:

 

Communication

 Guidance for Staff

  • The aim of the Right of the Month is to give staff a tool to reflect on children’s experiences in the service
  • The above is an example only, if you feel that a child has access to the Right of the Month already think of another one relevant to the child
  • The Right of the Month is purely an information source to raise awareness
  • Discuss any new activity that you feel may benefit a child with your PIC before planning
  • If a staff member is aware that the example of the Right of the Month would cause a particular child distress – discuss with your PIC prior to any intervention

 

Examples of Communication questions you can ask yourself:

  • How do the children in my care communicate?
  • Do the children have access to aids for example PECS to help them communicate?
  • Each time I speak – am I matching my communication to what the children can understand?

 

An example of reflecting on practice

  • I was working with a child who wanted something, but I didn’t know what it was. He was pointing and vocalising but I couldn’t figure it out. He has a PECS book, but he didn’t use it. He got upset when I didn’t get him what he wanted.
  • What could we learn from reflecting on example above?

Right of the Month

October’s right of the month is:

Safety

Guidance for Staff

• The aim of the Right of the Month is to give staff a tool to reflect on children’s experiences in the service
• The above is an example only, if you feel that a child has access to the Right of the Month already think of another one relevant to the child
• The Right of the Month is purely an information source to raise awareness
• Discuss any new activity that you feel may benefit a child with your PIC before planning
• If a staff member is aware that the example of the Right of the Month would cause a particular child distress – discuss with your PIC prior to any intervention

Examples of Safety questions you can ask yourself:
• Is child safety and welfare paramount when I am delivering care to the children?
• Are children encouraged to reach their goals safely?
• After a thorough risk assessment are children allowed to engage in activities that would enhance their lives?

An example of reflecting on practice
• A child started a new activity s/he previously never tried before. A risk assessment was carried out and risk was minimised as much as possible. It turned out that the child really enjoyed their new experience.
• What could we learn from reflecting on example above?

Right of the Month

November’s right of the month is:

Dignity and Respect

Guidance for Staff

  • The aim of the Right of the Month is to give staff a tool to reflect
    on children’s experiences in the service.
  • The above is an example only, if you feel that a child has access to
    this month’s Right of the Month look back at other Right of the
    Months and see if they are more relevant to the child.
  • The Right of the Month is purely an information source to raise
    awareness.
  • Discuss any new activity that you feel may benefit a child with
    your PIC / Teacher / Principal before planning.
  • If a staff member is aware that the example of the Right of the
    Month would cause a particular child distress, discuss with your
    PIC / Teacher / Principal prior to any intervention.

 

Examples of Dignity and Respect questions you can ask yourself:

  • In a safe environment and if applicable to the child are children
    able to be supervised from a distance, therefore, giving the child
    some space?
  • While sometimes difficult, are steps taken to maintain a child’s
    appearance? I.e. bringing a spare pair of appropriate trousers in
    case of a toileting accident when out in the community.
  • If appropriate, are children given times to complete tasks they are
    known to be able to do? And when appropriate and safe, given
    the opportunity to try doing new tasks? I.e. dressing themselves,
    putting away their bag, getting an item for a particular task etc.

 

An example of reflecting on practice

 

  • During an outing a child had a toileting accident, prior to this staff
    had brought with them a complete change of clothes for the child
    and used the empty bus to support the child.
  • What could we learn from reflecting on example above?

Right of the Month

 

December’s right of the month is:

 Play

 

 Guidance for Staff

 

  • The aim of the Right of the Month is to give staff a tool to reflect on children’s experiences in the service.
  • The above is an example only, if you feel that a child has access to this month’s Right of the Month look back at other Right of the Months and see if they are more relevant to the child.
  • The Right of the Month is purely an information source to raise awareness.
  • Discuss any new activity that you feel may benefit a child with your PIC / Teacher / Principle before planning.
  • If a staff member is aware that the example of the Right of the Month would cause a particular child distress, discuss with your PIC / Teacher / Principle prior to any intervention.

 

Examples of Play questions you can ask yourself:

  • In a safe environment are children given space to play?
  • Has a child I support, if appropriate, been given the chance to play in a group of their peers?
  • Are children’s interests actively encouraged?
  • Are there any more ways we could encourage children to play?

 

An example of reflecting on practice

  • Management and Respite Keyworkers strive to match children with suitable interests and ability. This allows children to partake in suitable activities and interests as a group with the hope children will form some connections and develop their interests.

 

Reflect on the benefits this can have on the children you support and any further steps that could be taken to encourage a child to play.

 

Right of the Month

January’s right of the month is:

Inclusion

Guidance for Staff

  •  The aim of the Right of the Month is to give staff a tool to reflect
    on children’s experiences in the service.
  • The above is an example only, if you feel that a child has access to
    this month’s Right of the Month look back at other Right of the
    Months and see if they are more relevant to the child.
  • The Right of the Month is purely an information source to raise
    awareness.
  • Discuss any new activity that you feel may benefit a child with
    your PIC / Teacher / Principal before planning.
  • If a staff member is aware that the example of the Right of the
    Month would cause a particular child distress, discuss with your
    PIC / Teacher / Principal prior to any intervention.

 

Examples of Inclusion questions you can ask yourself:

  •  Can an activity be adapted to include all children?
  • How can I make a child feel included if they are unable to partake
    in an activity?
  • If safe and appropriately supported, has a child accessed an
    activity or an amenity in the community in the last month?

An example of reflecting on practice

An activity took place which one child could not partake in due to
their needs; staff however kept the child part of the group and
engaged the child in parts of the activity he could partake in.

What could we learn from above example?

 

Right of the Month

February’s right of the month is:

Choice

Guidance for Staff

 The aim of the Right of the Month is to give staff a tool to
reflect on children’s experiences in the service
 The above is an example only, if you feel that a child has
access to the Right of the Month already, have a look back
over other Right of the Months
 The Right of the Month is purely an information source to
raise awareness
 Discuss any new activity that you feel may benefit a child with
your PIC / Teacher / Principal before planning
 If a staff member is aware that the example of the Right of
the Month would cause a particular child distress – discuss
with your PIC / Teacher / Principal prior to any intervention
Examples of Choice questions you can ask yourself:
 Can/may the child choose a snack?
 Can/may the child get an item from the press?
 Can/may the child choose what clothes s/he is going to wear?
 Can/may choose or influence his or her activities?
An example of reflecting on practice
 Balancing rights in a shared support environment can be
challenging. For example; support staff supported a child to
choose their own clothes one morning. This took longer than
expected meaning the school bus had to wait outside the
house for some time. This resulted in some of the children on
the bus becoming distressed
 What could we learn from reflecting on example above?

 

March’s right of the month is:

Being Upset

Guidance for Staff

 The aim of the Right of the Month is to give staff a tool to reflect
on children’s experiences in the service.
 The above is an example only, if you feel that a child has access to
this month’s Right of the Month look back at other Right of the
Months and see if they are more relevant to the child.
 The Right of the Month is purely an information source to raise
awareness.
 Discuss any new activity that you feel may benefit a child with
your PIC / Teacher / Principal before planning.
 If a staff member is aware that the example of the Right of the
Month would cause a particular child distress, discuss with your
PIC / Teacher / Principal prior to any intervention.
Examples of being upset questions you can ask yourself:
If a child is upset or sad it is important to find out the reason why as it
could be a Child Protection issue or they may have hurt themselves. If
these are ruled out and it is established the child is upset over
something trivial, for example: they dropped something, TV not
working, internet not working etc. In these scenarios it is important to
allow the child to be upset while offering comfort and reassurance
 If a child is upset I will try and engage him in activities? – this
could work but allow time for the child to be upset and then
reengage
 If a child is upset as long as they are safe I will leave them alone
for a period of time and then reengage? – this could also work
An example of reflecting on practice
 A child was upset when I began my shift I inquired with other
staff why the child was upset and it was because the internet was
not working. In a safe environment I allowed the child to be upset
offering reassurance and comfort, (if you feel it would not add to
the child’s upset) after a period of time I reengaged with the child
with his tea. After tea we planned to do an activity he enjoyed.

 

Right of the Month

November’s right of the month is:

Being allowed to be frustrated

 Guidance for Staff

  • The aim of the Right of the Month is to give staff a tool to reflect on children’s experiences in the service.
  • The above is an example only, if you feel that a child has access to this month’s Right of the Month look back at other Right of the Months and see if they are more relevant to the child.
  • The Right of the Month is purely an information source to raise awareness of the rights of the children in our care.
  • Discuss any new activity that you feel may benefit a child with your PIC / Teacher / Principal before planning.
  • If a staff member is aware that the example of the Right of the Month would cause a particular child distress, discuss with your PIC / Teacher / Principal prior to any intervention.

 

Some examples of supporting  ‘being allowed to be frustrated’

  • Child is given space.
  • Child is comforted.
  • Child is reassured.
  • Child is given different option if possible and appropriate.
  • Trying to find out what is causing the child’s frustration.

 

An example of reflecting on practice

  • A child is in a noisy room and is asked to partake in an activity. The child becomes frustrated and pushes the activity away. While the child should engage in this activity s/he could also have become overwhelmed by the noise in the room or other and is trying to communicate their needs. What steps could help the child to re-engage with the activity? I.e. Movement break? Given space? Supported to a quieter space if possible? Is the child feeling unwell?