Master of Social Work- Year 2
Matriculation Number: 0235286Order now
Exam Number: 3528633
Submission Date: 12th of December
No of Words: 2713
All names have been made anonymous to protect the identity of individuals.
David aged 11 was in residential care along with his 7 siblings. He had a
severe history of abuse (sexual, physical and emotional) from a female
relative. His stay in this residential setting was one of assessment no
work at this stage was being carried out to address these issues. This
child was restrained whilst shouting at his brother.
This had been an
extremely distressing day as three of his younger siblings had been placed
with foster carers and these two boys were unsure where they would be
going. They had quite a volatile relationship and it had been agreed by all
staff that there would be a cool-off time enforced, to calm the children.
On this occasion an argument occurred between my colleague and the young
person, who we will call David. Unfortunately my colleague did not wait
until she has changeover to be informed of the day’s events and immersed
herself in this situation.
In residential care the C.A.
L.M (Crisis & Aggression Limitation
Management.) technique is used to support agencies in the management of
aggressive and challenging behaviour. This is a very successful and highly
regarded model of treatment and is accredited and registered.1 On this
occasion my colleague did not have this level of training and used holding
techniques, which were unsuitable for residential work. The restraint did
not follow the C.
A.L.M. physical restraint model. It also lasted for over
an hour, which resulted in injury to staff. There was also no trained
member of staff on shift and no one that was willing to assist in physical
At the beginning of this project, it was made clear who had the adequate
training for restraints and those that did not. We were strongly advised
not to intervene unless there was no alternative and/or immediate harm
would have been caused to a young person or those around them. David became
very emotional and his anxiety level increased as he thrashed around and
screamed for the member of staff to get off him. He was heard shouting;
“this is what bad people did to me” Even at this stage the restraint did
not stop and was clearly upsetting him. I believe the upset was directly
related to the holding measures as they were not appropriate or safe holds.
Ethical Issues & problems
The ethical issues around in this scenario include the individual rights of
David who should have been given the same rights as he would have at home,
also the responsibility that my colleague had to adhere to agency policy
Ethical Issues around inequality i.e. the power balance
between service provider and service user were huge and particularly
threatening for David as most of the staff were woman with whom he had a
In this case; mainly agency personnel staffed the unit. This in itself can
have its own drawbacks. Having researched the recruitment practices for
this particular agency for the purpose of this essay, and indeed having
been recruited by them myself; the level of qualifications and skills
required is high.
However, on entering a residential unit it is rare that
a member of staff will ask you if you are C.A.L.M trained. Ethically, some
people due, to their own value base, will not restrain, as they believe it
to be damaging to a child. A recurring problem for the social work
department will be the staff shortages within the department requiring bank
and agency staff to fill the gaps Even when staff have been trained, the
training course for C.
A.L.M is not considered an essential skill to have
for the job within residential work with young people.
Children Scotland Act 1995
The Children (Scotland) Act 1995, incorporates provisions from the UN
convention on the Right’s of the child and also takes account of
obligations under the European Convention on human Right’s. The Children
Scotland Act states that each child has the right to:
. be treated as an individual.
. Form and express views on matters affecting him or her; and
. be protected from all forms of abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Parents and local authorities have rights and responsibilities in achieving
the balance of care. When considering David, we must look at the scenario
in terms of the big picture and look not only at the code of ethics that
applies to social service employees but also the statutory duties and
obligations that we .