Behaviour Policy

INTRODUCTION

The basis of this policy is that we ask all our young women to respect the building, respect the staff and respect each other. This policy applies to all staff, volunteers, and young people. It is also a tool to be utilised by all staff, including senior managers, the board of trustees, paid employees, freelance and agency workers, volunteers, placement students, parents/carers and support workers or anyone working on behalf of Sister2Sister. Sister2Sister works with young people from the age of 14 to 21 years.

Sister2Sister believes that all young people and staff have the right to have access to an environment that is safe, secure, and free from negative or anti-social behaviour of any kind. To enable an environment that inspires, promotes individuality, and encourages young people to feel comfortable engaging in activities, without the fear of negative or anti-social behaviour. Sister2Sister sets out clear boundaries in relation to behaviour. Throughout this policy it is acknowledged that some inappropriate behaviours may be linked to medical conditions, disabilities or additional needs.

At Sister2Sister we are committed to preparing young people for the wider world, and as a result, we operate within the notion that the fact a young person has a disability, or additional support need does not mean that they should never be disciplined. Instead, we believe that this behaviour policy should reflect the need to pay extra attention to the underlying causes of their difficulties, reflect the additional barriers disabled people or individuals with additional support needs face in society and where appropriate, ensure that reasonable adjustments and support is put into place.

PRINCIPLES

Sister2Sister is dedicated to providing a safe and secure environment, free from negative and anti-social behaviour for all /young people. Sister2Sister is committed to:

a) Ensuring that young people are given clear behaviour boundaries and those who have difficulties meeting these boundaries are supported and helped in ways which are sensitive to their needs.
b) Providing safeguards for all staff and volunteers with a clear outline of how to manage behaviour at Sister2Sister.
c) Ensuring that the safety of both young people and staff is treated as equally important.

At Sister2Sister, all our activities include:

Participation and active involvement:

  • Young people choose to be involved, not least because they want to relax, meet friends, make new relationships, to have fun, and to find support
  • The work starts from where young people are in relation to their own values, views, and principles, as well as their own personal and social space.
  • It seeks to go beyond where young people start, to widen their prospects, promote contribution and invite social commitment, in particular by encouraging them to be critical and creative in their responses to their experience and the world around them

    Equity, diversity and inclusion:
    Our sessions encourage young people to:
  • treat one another with respect, valuing each individual and their differences, and promote the acceptance and understanding of others, whilst challenging oppressive behaviour and ideas.
  • value individual differences by supporting and strengthening young people’s belief in themselves, and their capacity to grow and to change through a supportive group environment.

Our commitment to staff, volunteers, trustees, and other’s working on behalf of the organisation: Sister2Sister strives to create an atmosphere where the principles of managing the behaviour of young people are clearly outlined and easy to follow. All staff will be enabled to manage behaviour as well as help guide young people to contribute positively, confidently, and fairly to our immediate community, the wider community and society as a whole. We will ensure that all staff receive encouragement, support, and training in areas of managing behaviour and have access to opportunities to openly discuss and share the ways in which supporting young people can be developed.

Our commitment to young people:

Sister2Sister is committed to protecting, fulfilling, and promoting the rights and safety of young people. Positive behaviour needs to be planned for, modelled, taught and acknowledged and as a result we are committed to ensuring that all staff, including senior managers, the board of trustees, paid employees, freelance and agency workers, volunteers, placement students, support workers or anyone else working on behalf of Sister2Sister presents themselves as a positive role model to all young people. We seek to ensure that they are fully aware of and understand the behaviours that are acceptable and unacceptable when in or around Sister2Sister with the aim of enabling them to make positive contributions to our community, the wider community and society as a whole.

LEGAL FRAMEWORK

This policy has been drawn up based on law and guidance that seeks to protect young people, namely:

  • The Children Act 1989
  • The Children and Young People Act 2008
  • Humans Right Act 1998
  • Human Rights Act 2004
  • United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
  • Data Protection Act 2018 /General Data Protection Regulations
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  • The Children and Families Act 2014
  • Special educational needs and disability (SEND) code of practice: 0 to 25 years –Statutory guidance for organisations which work with and support and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities; HM Government 2014
  • Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to , young people, parents, and carers; July 2018
  • Child and Social Work Act 2017
  • Working together to safeguard : Statutory guidance on ‘inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children’. HM Government 2018

Other policies and procedures which should be read and be used in conjunction with this policy are:

  • Anti-harassment and Bullying Policy
  • Behaviour Management Policy
  • Data Protection Policy
  • Drugs, alcohol and substance abuse policy
  • Equality and Diversity Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Medication Policy
  • Recruitment and Selection Policy
  • Risk Management Policy
  • Safeguarding Policy
  • Social Media Policy
  • Training and Development Policy
  • Whistle Blowing Policy

BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT PROCEDURE

Every young person will be required to read, understand, and sign our behaviour agreement. We understand the need to be consistent in the way that we respond to unacceptable or inappropriate behaviour and we do this by implementing a consistent three levelled approach that provides examples of inappropriate behaviours at each level, appropriate sanctions, and steps for dealing with the behaviour.

To ensure that this is clear and easy to follow, significant terms are clarified below:
  • Verbal challenge: The young person will be informally reminded that the way they are behaving is not appropriate. A clear explanation as to why this behaviour is inappropriate will be given, where necessary, with staff/volunteers taking a non-threatening and encouraging approach at this point, referring to previous positive behaviour whilst providing examples of how-to better act or behave. Verbal challenges do not need to be reported
  • Warning: The young person will be formally reprimanded for the inappropriate behaviour and will be given 3 warnings for low level and 1 warning for medium level behaviour prior to a sanction being imposed. Warnings will be carried over and considered for escalation over 3 consecutive sessions attended.
  • Time out: The young person is accompanied to an appropriate space with the aim of temporarily separating them from the environment where inappropriate behaviour has occurred for a short and temporary period of time.

Staff will always deliver sanctions calmly and with care. It is in nobody’s interest to confront inappropriate behaviour with anger. When a young person is sent away from a session, a cool off is imposed or a permanent ban is put in place, parents/carers of all young people under the age of 18 will be notified and fully informed of the reasoning behind these sanctions. If a child/young person is deemed as being under the influence of any psychoactive substance (including alcohol) then regardless of consent to leave Sister2Sister independently they must be collected by a parent/guardian immediately or the relevant agencies/ government bodies will be contacted.

Low Level Behaviour This level of response is for low level behaviour including, but not exclusively:
  • General use of rude/inappropriate language
  • Rude/disrespectful behaviour/language used towards staff or peers
  • Littering or inappropriate disposal of rubbish
  • Disobeying given instructions by a member of staff
  • General use of oppressive or discriminatory behaviour or language (First occasion)
  • Careless/unthoughtful use of equipment that leads to damage of company property
  • Running around the building in unsuitable areas unless permitted by staff
  • Vandalism of equipment or building (First occasion)
  • Graffiti (this includes all equipment, and building space both inside and outside of Sister2Sister)
  • Play fighting or rough play
  • Forcing entry to rooms/closed spaces
  • Deliberately blocking sinks/toilets, defacing the toilet facilities, defecating or urinating outside of the facilities (First occasion)
  • Any other action that is deemed low level, that may inhibit others ability/right to have a fun and safe experience
  Sanctions appropriate to this level include but are not limited to:
  • Verbal warning
  • Apologising for actions verbally or written (escalated dependent on behaviour)
  • Time out (young person to be provided with a safe and quiet space in order to calm down and reflect)
  • Young person to be responsible for repair or replacement of any property damaged or defaced.
  • 1 week cool off if deemed necessary by the relevant staff.
  • Consider escalation to medium level sanctions for repeated offenses should initial sanctions not have the desired impact on behaviour
  Medium level Behaviour   This level of response is for medium level behaviour including, but not exclusively:
  • Repeated low level inappropriate behaviours
  • Repeated use of bad/Inappropriate language
  • Taunting / bullying behaviour
  • Theft of small or petty items (First occasion)
  • Repetitive disobeying of given instructions by a member of staff
  • Anti-social behaviour such as spitting and other non-contact behaviours
  • Deliberate and repeated vandalism of equipment or building
  • Sexually and age inappropriate behaviour/ conduct
  • Cyber bullying via consented or unconsented photo/ video filming or sharing
  • Tampering with safety equipment including fire doors, extinguishers, signs, alarms etc.
  • Repeat offence of or directed oppressive or discriminatory behaviour
  • Any other action considered medium level that would inhibit others ability/right to have a fun and safe experience
  Sanctions appropriate to this level include but are not limited to:
  • Verbal discussion regarding behaviour
  • Escalation for monitoring and imposing additional sanctions where necessary.
  • 1-2 week cool off with re-engagement meeting arranged
  • Parents/ carers called and made aware of the inappropriate behaviour and enforced sanctions
  • Where required additional support from partner agencies sort
  • Referral to necessary internal support where required
  • Consider escalation to high level sanctions for repeated offenses should initial sanctions not have the desired impact on behaviour
  High Level Behaviour This level of response is for high level behaviour including, but not exclusively:
  • Repeated low/medium level inappropriate behaviours & failure to respond to already imposed sanctions
  • Violent behaviour
  • Purposeful discrimination of any form against an individual’s protected characteristics
  • Persistent & continued taunting / bullying behaviour
  • Repeated theft of small or petty items or theft of high value items
  • Persistent & continued cyber bullying via consented or unconsented photo/ video filming or sharing
  • Repeated tampering or destruction of safety equipment including fire doors, extinguishers, signs etc.
  • Smoking inside of the building
  • Unauthorised exiting and entering of the building
  • Violent and directed oppressive or discriminatory behaviour
  • Any other action considered high level that would inhibit others ability/right to have a fun and safe experience.
The behaviours below are also examples of high-level inappropriate behaviours but due to the nature, inappropriate behaviour should be dealt with in line with the Safeguarding Policy & Procedure.  
  • Carrying or concealment of any item deemed to be used as a weapon
  • Being under the influence of any psychoactive substance (including alcohol)
  • Supplying, selling or concealment of any psychoactive substance (including alcohol)
  • Supplying, selling, carrying or concealment of any paraphernalia related to any psychoactive substances (including alcohol)
  • Sexual harassment/ abuse / assault
  • The association with any persons who are found to be supplying, selling, carrying or concealing any item deemed to be used as a weapon or any psychoactive substances (including alcohol) / paraphernalia
  • Involvement in CSE or other high-level safeguarding concern
  • Sanctions appropriate to this level include but are not limited to:
  • 1-2 week cool off with potential permanent ban (young person to be sent to cool off period agreed between relevant staff)
  • Re-engagement meeting arranged for cool off sanctions
  • Inability to go on trips for a defined period
  • Escalation to authorities where appropriate
  • Parents/ carers called and made aware of the inappropriate behaviour and enforced sanctions for all young people under the age of 18 years
  • Where required additional support or referrals made to partner agencies
  • Referral to necessary internal support where required
  • Permanent ban from the programme *extreme cases only