Safety is always our FIRST concern, so physical intervention is our LAST resort. Recent investigations have led to growing concern over the increased number of injuries, even fatalities, due to unnecessary or inappropriate restraint. Most of these tragedies were not due to abusive staff, but to overwhelming stress, poor training, and inadequate supervision.
We are dedicated to the principles of relationship-based intervention, and to the use of physical force only in imminent danger. When the situation requires use of force, it is important for staff to have professional training in proven safe and effective techniques. These include self-protection techniques, escort techniques, standing holds, seated and supine (face-up) restraint techniques.
Responsible staff attempt to prevent restraint whenever possible.But occasionally, the behavior of troubled children and youth requires physical intervention to prevent greater danger to youth, staff, and/or property. In times like these, staff will rely either upon professional training or personal "fight or flight" instincts.
To supplement its verbal intervention skills, the TACT2 program offers professional training in a limited number of highly effective, easy-to-learn physical techniques. Mastery of these basic techniques provides staff with the skill and confidence to assist in physical intervention should verbal intervention fail. All techniques utilize the minimum force necessary to safely manage a situation, and are non-injurious.
SELF-PROTECTION TECHNIQUES are used when staff are being grabbed, held, or assaulted by youth. They include: 1. Arm Grab Releases 2. Choke Escapes 3. Headlock Escapes 4. Bite Escape (optional) 5. Hair Pull Release (optional)
ONE- AND TWO-PERSON ESCORTS are used when a student must be removed from a dangerous or over-stimulating situation. Training includes: 1. Holds (Double Arm Bar, Cradle, Bear Hug) 2. One Person Escort 3. Two Person Escort 4. Transition in Holds
Seated Double Arm Bar hold
NON-PRONE RESTRAINTS: Because of growing concerns regarding the safety of any prone (face down) restraint position, we have added three alternative techniques: (1) Seated double arm bar restraint (illustrated at left); (2) Supine (face up) arm bar restraint; (3) Supine (face up) shoulder lock restraint.
For more information about these alternatives, contact Dr. Steve Parese (SBParese@aol.com).
No Prone Restraints Due to very legitimate concerns regarding positional asphyxia, a number of states have banned the use of prone restraints in the past 10 years.
Even when well-designed and well-executed, prone restraints contain an inherent potential for danger, as they place youth in a face down position which could possibly compromise breathing. When agencies have enough well-trained and supervised staff, they can respond quickly and intelligently to emotional and physiological concerns before they become emergencies. Unfortunately, the reality is that too many agencies and too many staff fail to meet these conditions. Across the nation, youth care agencies are often understaffed, and because of high turnover, utilize inexperienced and poorly trained individuals. Staff are frequently uninformed of health conditions which might impact the safety of a restraint, or in the heat of the moment, lose the professional perspective needed to make safe and therapeutic decisions.
Given these realities, TACT2 voluntarily removed the prone restraint from the training program more than 5 years ago, replacing it with alternative techniques: (1) seated double arm bar restraint; (2) supine arm bar restraint; or (3) supine shoulder lock restraint.
"The TACT2 program shows its love for the safety of kids... and helps teachers develop confidence in keeping themselves and students safe." L.R., teacher Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Pittsburgh, PA
“After teaching TACT-2 to staff, I noticed a significant increase in their confidence level in dealing with the children we serve.” Linda Cole, Clinical Director Duncan Therapeutic Services, Hagerstown, MD
"So many of our kids have a need for this! TACT is a great way of understanding what's going on inside them as well as safely controlling them in high crisis situations." Leah Sneller, Residential Counselor, Crittenton Center Shelter, Sioux City, IA
Dr. Steve Parese • SBP Consulting, Inc. • SBParese@aol.com
Helping Staff Be At Their Best When Kids Are At Their Worst