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Child Welfare. 2010;89(2):169-87.

Restraint use in residential programs: why are best practices ignored?

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  • 1Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, USA.


Several states and providers have embarked on initiatives to reduce using restraint and seclusion in residential programs. Restraint and seclusion are associated with harm to youth and staff, significant costs, reduced quality of care, and less engagement of youth and families. Successful reduction/prevention strategies have been identified, implemented, and reported. Both states and residential providers have implemented prevention approaches, made significant changes, reduced restraint/seclusion use, and offered their experience and positive outcomes.

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