To inform residential care workers when and how a child in the CEO’s care may be searched or have items seized under Division 8 Powers of restraint, search and seizure Children and Community Services Act (2004).
In all circumstances residential care workers should exercise discretion before considering use of the search and seizure provisions of the Act.
To ‘search’ means an authorised officer may search a child or articles in the child’s possession.
Powers to search under the Act do not authorise the examination of a child’s body or body cavities, or the removal of some or all of a child’s clothing under any circumstances (s.115(5)).
If residential care workers suspect that a child should be searched, the search may only be conducted after careful consideration of the child’s circumstances and history, and then only if there is a reasonable suspicion that the child has in their possession something that may, if used or allowed to remain there, would:
When residential care workers seize articles as a result of a personal search of a child or their possessions they must store the items securely and record the item(s) seized, a description of the item, and the date in the Log Book and the child’s case notes.
Residential care workers are not required to return an item that, in the possession of the child is likely to:
If a residential care worker seizes a firearm, weapon or prohibited article from a child, he or she must contact WA Police to advise them of the item seized before delivering it into the custody of a police officer as soon as possible.
If illicit substances have been collected, follow the below guidelines:
If the seized items are disposable (such as a disposable hypodermic needle, syringe, a disposable cigarette lighter, or any disposable item that does not exceed $30 in value), or an intoxicant (other than a prohibited article), residential care workers should place the item in safe keeping until the manager decides on the destruction or otherwise of the item.
The child’s case manager must be notified via email about any items seized and the location of those items (for example, if disposed, placed in child’s property, or handed to WA Police, etc.).