By Scott Kirkwood
For Full Article: http://www.cwla.org/articles/cv0309restraint.htm
Restraint and seclusion were once considered acceptable, even valuable tools in maintaining control of unruly children in residential group homes. But the call for alternatives is growing louder.
The negative effects of restraint have been well-publicized in recent years, most notably in a 1998 series in the Hartford (Connecticut) Courant implicating restraint in the death of dozens of children each year.
"Facilities that use seclusion and restraint have a much higher rate of injuries and sometimes deaths than institutions that don't use seclusion and restraint," says Kevin Ann Huckshorn, Director of the Office of Technical Assistance for the National Association of State Mental Health Directors in Virginia. "Before the Hartford Courant expose, many people thought, 'We use restraint because we have to--it's a serious intervention that must be done well,' but now we're starting to ask why we're using restraint at all."