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Children's Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005)


General Regulations Regarding Children, 2010

Chapter 14 : Child and Youth Care Centres (Sections 191-212 of the Act)

76. Behaviour management in child and youth care centres


(1) The manager and staff of a child and youth care centre must promote approaches to positive discipline by—
(a) ensuring that children are provided with the skills and support which enable constructive and effective social behaviour;
(b) demonstrating the expected behaviour by modelling this in their attitudes and interactions with the children;
(c) ensuring that children feel respected, and physically, emotionally and socially safe when service providers provide positive discipline; and
(d) ensuring, through programmes and effective role modelling, that children are given opportunity and encouragement to demonstrate and practise positive behaviour.


(2) The following behaviour management actions are expressly prohibited:
(a) Group punishment for individual behaviour;
(b) threats of removal, or removal from a programme;
(c) humiliation or ridicule;
(d) physical punishment;
(e) deprivation of basic rights and needs such as food and clothing;
(f) deprivation of access to family members or significant other persons;
(g) denial, outside of the child's specific development plan, of visits, telephone calls or correspondence with family members and significant other persons;
(h) isolation, except for medical reasons, from service providers or other children admitted to the place of care, other than for the immediate safety of those children or those service providers only after all other possibilities have been exhausted and then under strict adherence to policy, procedure, monitoring and documentation;
(i) restraint, other than for the immediate safety of the children or service providers and as an extreme measure, which measure must be governed by specific policy and procedures compliant with sub-regulations (3), (4) and (5), may be undertaken only by service providers trained in such measure, and must be thoroughly documented and effectively monitored;
(j) assignment of exercise or inappropriate chores;
(k) undue influence by service providers regarding their religious or personal beliefs including sexual orientation or cross-gendered identity;
(l) measures which demonstrate discrimination on the basis of cultural or linguistic heritage, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or cross-gendered identity;
(m) verbal, emotional or physical harm;
(n) punishment by another child; and
(o) behaviour modification such as punishment or reward systems or privilege systems, other than as a treatment or development technique within a documented individual treatment or development programme which is developed by a team including the child and monitored by an appropriately trained multidisciplinary team.


(3) A child may be isolated from other children, only if he or she cannot be managed and is deemed to be a danger to himself, herself or others, for a period of no longer than two hours, for the purposes of providing support and giving him or her time to regain control and dignity.


(a) Any child isolated from other children must be under the constant observation of a social worker, child and youth care worker or psychologist, and must be provided with physical care, emotional support, and counselling which assists in reintegration into the group as soon as possible.
(b) No child may be isolated or locked up as a form of discipline or punishment.
(c) The room where a child is isolated may not be a bathroom or toilet, a windowless room, a basement room, vault or store-room.


(5) A register must be maintained which details the reasons for and the period of a child's isolation, together with a report on the support and counselling provided and the response of the child during the period of isolation.