Statement of Rights (Whitmarsh)
All residents of Whitmarsh House are guaranteed specific rights that may not be denied or abridged by anyone. Residents are entitled to basic needs regarding food, shelter, education, medical care, clothing and community contact. Residents also maintain the right to be safe and secure in their person and possessions. In addition, residents are entitled to fair and impartial treatment, respect, and privacy while in care.
Whitmarsh House staff have a responsibility to protect the rights of each individual entrusted to care; to treat each individual with kindness, dignity and respect that inspires professionalism and promotes success in helping troubled youth. All program staff agree to follow guidelines established for youth care professionals in dealing with clients and to practice patience and tolerance along with gentle nurturing and guidance.
All Whitmarsh House staff are required to adhere to strict confidentiality policies in dealing with other public agencies, institutions, persons and linkages involved with residents. Disclosure of information outside of Whitmarsh House is not permitted without the express written permission of all of the parties in accordance with confidentiality standards. All program personnel are required to sign an agreement to abide by confidentiality standards both within and outside of the program.
The sharing of information of a sensitive nature within the program is limited to only those individuals who are intimately involved in the care and treatment of a resident. A protocol limits access to resident files and confidential information unless there is a professional basis for having such personal information. Staff are cautioned to exercise restraint and good judgment in sharing information of a sensitive nature with colleagues within the program.
A resident who may feel that a right has been violated or denied regarding basic needs, privacy, or fair and impartial treatment may bring a complaint to the attention of the Program Administrator and the Department for Children, Youth and Families for a prompt resolution. All residents retain the right to be heard on any matter of which they may be a participant.
Whitmarsh House discourages the use of physical force in managing resident behavior except under the most serious of circumstances. It is the policy of the program to use physical restraint as a means of maintaining control only when a resident is not able to regain control and is in imminent danger of physical injury to himself or another.
All program personnel are required to learn the proper techniques for performing physical restraints to prevent accidental injury to residents. Regularly scheduled training sessions are offered to Whitmarsh House staff on the various forms of restraint that are approved for child care professionals.
The program staff is instructed to practice alternative interventions in lieu of restraint that may be utilized to assist residents with self-control. To eliminate the need for physical confrontation in time of crisis, it is important for program staff to establish trusting relationships with residents that allow communication and discussion to prevail. For this reason, a number of staff in-service training sessions are devoted to simple interventions that may be successful in assisting residents with anger management issues. Ideally, residents are encouraged to internalize control rather than rely on program staff for external control.
Whitmarsh House staff are advised to guide and support residents in making appropriate choices. Program staff serve as role models for residents to emulate, demonstrating appropriate and responsible behavior, attitude, and decision making.
Children's Bill of Rights