To provide information to residential care workers on the procedures
required to keep children and staff safe before, during, and after a critical
A critical incident is an event which involves an injury or potential for injury, and/or a strong stress reaction in a child or residential care workers. It is also any situation where residential care workers have used Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) restraint procedures.
A contentious critical event is one where a serious incident will have ongoing repercussions to the child or the Department and must be reported to the house manager (or on-call manager) and/or Director. The child does not have to have been on site for a critical incident to have occurred.
Examples of critical incidents include:
NOTE: Critical incidents are not limited to these situations and if you are unsure please complete a Critical Incident Summary and the Manager will advise you of the need to complete a Critical Incident Report.
Children and young people in Residential Care can present with extremely challenging behaviour for example verbal threats, aggression, or deliberate slef-0harm that are expressions of trauma.
Children, residential care workers and others have a right to interact in a way that is free from risks to their personal safety or wellbeing.
Residential care commits to taking appropriate action in response to incidents which affect, or have the potential, to affect the health, safety or wellbeing of staff, children or others whilst striving to provide a safe and therapeutic environment that promotes healing.
Residential Care staff have a duty of care towards all children during an incident. Residential care workers need to be trauma-informed in their responses and able to confidently assess risk, de-escalate heightened emptions and manage challenging situations.
Residential care workers must assess the situation and use appropriate Sanctuary and TCI strategies to de-escalate the child and maintain the safety of other children and workers. This may involve the use of restraint as per TCI.
Residential care workers must only contact the Police when they and/or the children are in danger and safety is not able to be maintained and all other strategies have been exhausted. If staff are unable to call the Police, then the duress alarm should be activiated.
For more information, also refer to 'Injuries to a Child' and 'Injuries to Staff' in 5.4 - Medical Emergency.
For more information, also refer to 'Allegations of Abuse in Care' in 1.5 – Where the allegation relates to a Department employee.