Work Group to Announce Report on Seclusion and Restraint Best Practices
September 1, 2006
The Behavior Management Work Group mandated by the 79th Texas Legislature is due to issue its final report.
In 2005, Senate Bill 325 created the Work Group to study and provide recommendations for best practices in managing the behavior of residents in facilities run by the Texas Youth Commission, the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, and health and human services agencies.
Staff of residential facilities that serve people with psychiatric disorders, disruptive behaviors, and other problems sometimes need to intervene with residents whose behaviors threaten themselves or others. Responses may involve verbally de-escalating the situation, placing the individual in seclusion, or physically restraining the person, among other approaches. The Behavior Management Work Group examined best practices in preventing and responding to these incidents.
Associate Director Dr. Lynda Frost was one of 16 members in the Work Group, which included participants from three health and human services agencies, the Texas Youth Commission, the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, and the Texas Education Agency.
"For several years now, the Hogg Foundation has been committed to reducing reliance on seclusion and restraint across state agencies' residential facilities," said Frost. "Convening this work group was an important step in applying recent research on seclusion and restraint use to the actual practices of Texas facilities."
Mr. Albert Hawkins, Executive Commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, charged the group with making recommendations on the following issues:
- A comprehensive reporting system for data on the use of behavior management interventions;
- Methods for preventing death or serious injury to facility residents related to physical intervention or restraint;
- De-escalation techniques and minimum standards in emergencies; and
- Best practices for seclusion and for physical, behavioral, and de-escalation interventions; as well as adaptations for specific populations. The Work Group's final report will be posted at www.hhsc.state.tx.us.
S.B. 325 requires Commissioner Hawkins to adopt rules needed to implement the Work Group's recommendations by November 1, 2006. A report describing participating agencies' efforts is due to the 80th Texas Legislature by January 1, 2007