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NYC Administration for Children's Services: The City's child welfare agency, dedicated to protecting children and strengthening families
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The following policies are being submitted for public comment over a 30 day period ending on September 8, 2015.

Mechanical Restraints for Limited Secure Placement

It is the policy of the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) to promote the safety of youth and staff in limited secure juvenile justice placement (LSP), as well as the surrounding community, using the least intrusive/restrictive intervention necessary. This policy establishes guidelines, prohibitions, and limitations on the use of mechanical restraints in LSP facilities and during transport. Mechanical restraints shall be used without purposely inflicting pain or harm, only in accordance with limitations and prohibitions on the use of physical interventions contained in each youth’s Behavior Support Plan, and only when other forms of intervention are either inappropriate or have been ineffective.

Visiting Youth in Juvenile Justice Placement Facilities

Regular visiting between youth in juvenile justice placement and their families and other important people in their lives is critical for sustaining and strengthening those positive relationships necessary to support youths’ rehabilitation, well-being, and development into adulthood. It is the responsibility of juvenile justice placement provider agencies (provider agencies) to arrange and facilitate agency visits between a youth and his or her parents/guardians, siblings, half-siblings, children, extended family or other discharge resources, and other persons of significance to the youth as long as such visits are not prohibited or restricted by court order and would not compromise the safety of youth, staff, visitors or security of the facility.

Limited Secure Placement Personal Youth Search Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide clear guidance for staff to follow with respect to personal youth searches. Limited secure placement (LSP) providers are required to implement search policies and practices designed to maintain contraband-free programs throughout the LSP system. The primary purpose of any personal search is to protect the safety of youth and staff of the LSP facility, the community, and others who may be present, within a context that respects and promotes dignity and healthy relationships through effective communication, making empathetic connections, and establishing a structured, consistent environment. The LSP personal search policy makes clear the circumstances under which personal searches described in this policy are mandatory, and the circumstances under which such searches are to be conducted at the discretion of facility staff and/or Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) staff. LSP providers are expected to make determinations regarding the need for personal searches based on ongoing assessments of the level of trust and open communication with individual youth and to conduct searches within the broader context of a conversation about personal responsibility, safety and trust.

Medication Administration in Non-Secure and Limited Secure Placement Facilities

All youth in the care of the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) in non-secure juvenile justice placement (NSP) and limited secure juvenile justice placement (LSP) facilities who require medication must receive their medication in the manner prescribed by a physician or other licensed health care practitioner authorized to issue prescriptions. To this end, this responsibility shall reside with the NSP or LSP provider. The purpose of this policy is to standardize safe and effective procedures for the storing, administering, accounting, and discarding of medications according to applicable federal, state, and local laws, and regulations commensurate with a physician’s or other licensed health care provider’s order.

The following policy is being submitted for public comment over a 30 day period ending on September 14, 2015.

Revocations

A youth who has been placed with the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) by the Family Court pursuant to a juvenile delinquency case may be released from ACS’ physical custody on aftercare status before the expiration of the placement. During the period of release, ACS provides aftercare, which includes therapeutic support services and monitoring of the youth’s progress in the community. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines and procedures for staff to follow when ACS seeks to revoke the release of a youth who is on aftercare status prior to the expiration of the youth’s placement with ACS.

We value your feedback and welcome your comments. Following a review of the submitted comments, these policies will be issued as final and the case practice expectations and requirements articulated within them will become effective. Submit your comments via email to draft.policy.comments@acs.nyc.gov no later than September 8, 2015. Comments can also be sent by mail to: ACS Policy Unit, 150 William St., 17th Floor, RM H-2, NY, NY 10038.