Restraint and Seclusion

We are working together with a group of families to bring key national organisations together to develop a strategy to tackle the issue of restrictive interventions against children and young people across the UK.  Our aim is to Reduce Restrictive Interventions and Safeguard Children, (RRISC).


What are restrictive interventions?

When we refer to restrictive intervention with children, we mean:

• Physical restraint (direct physical contact between the carer and person, including being pinned to the floor);

• Seclusion (supervised containment or isolation away from others in a room the child is prevented from leaving);

• Mechanical restraint (materials or equipment used to restrict or prevent movement);

• Blanket restrictions (including lack of access to certain places or activities);

• Chemical restraint (the use of medication in response to someone’s behaviour)


Key messages

The Reducing Restrictive Interventions- Safeguarding Children and Young People (RRISC) group has produced a series of key messages about this issue. The list includes five key asks that we believe, if carried out, will reduce the use of restrictive intervention on children and young people.

Read the key messages here

The key messages have been endorsed by The Challenging Behaviour Foundation, Positive and Active Behaviour Support Scotland, The Council for Disabled Children, Children’s Rights Alliance for England, Leigh Day, BILD, National Association of Special Schools, Mencap, and NSPCC.



In January 2019 we published a report which shares family carers’ shocking accounts of their children’s experiences of restrictive intervention, shared through a survey and case studies. Children are being injured physically and emotionally through the use of restraint, seclusion and other restrictive practices in schools.  Read the full report here.

In February 2020, we published an update report jointly produced by the Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF) and Positive and Active Behaviour Support Scotland (PABSS) and supported by the Reducing Restrictive Interventions and Safeguarding Children group RRISC. The report follows our January 2019 publication. Read the full report here.


Report Launch event at the House of Lords

We held a launch event at the House of Lords, on 10th February 2020, hosted by Baroness Sheila Hollins. The aim was to raise awareness about this hidden issue and encourage different organisations, researchers and stakeholders across the UK to pledge to action to reduce restrictive interventions of children and young people.

Baroness Sheila Hollins opened the event by thanking all the families who shared their experiences for this report. The Baroness said: “I know it is traumatic to have to go over what happened, and we appreciate your bravery in bringing this issue to light.”

Elly Chapple, a family-carer whose daughter Ella lost her sight as a result of the traumatic impact of restrictive interventions, spoke about this life changing experience and how we should view children differently.  Elly is also a founder member of the RRISC group and has worked in partnership with the CBF and PABSS to bring this issue to light.

You can find Elly’s presentation here.

Richard Hastings is the Cerebra Chair of Family Research and a Professor of Psychology and Education at the University of Warwick. He explained the research background and highlighted the findings of the report and the key recommendations.

Please find Richard’s presentation here.

Nick Hobbs, Head of Advice and Investigations at the office of the Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland (CYPCS), gave the final presentation. Nick explained the importance of focusing on restraint and seclusion as human rights issues and spoke about the current work taking place in Scotland

You can find Nick’s presentation here.

A key feature of the day was when three parents described their experiences, the impact of Restrictive interventions and how we can support children well. You can see the short film here:




We asked all invitees to make a pledge to reduce restrictive intervention of children through a specific action. Pledges made at the launch begin to address all of the four main recommendations in the report. Please see all pledges here.

Baroness Hollins closed the launch event highlighting the need to continue to ensure that the voices of families are heard and said “I hope we will look back on today as the start of a real process of change.”


Family carer experiences

At a meeting of the RRISC group we filmed three parents talking about restrictive intervention experienced by their children, and the impact on the whole family. You can watch the short film we made here.

A blog of one family’s experience, shared at our first meeting, can be found on the Paving The Way site here.


DfE Consultation on Restraint in Mainstream Settings and Alternative Provision 

In response to the consultation on Restraint in Mainstream Settings and Alternative Provision, the RRISC group wrote to Michelle Donelan MP in October 2019, raising the key issues. You can read our response here


Parliamentary debate

A parliamentary debate on the restrictive intervention of children and young people was held on 25th April 2019. The CBF produced a briefing paper for the parliamentary debate which you can read here. 



This page will be updated with more actions and progress on the pledges- please check back regularly. 

If you are worried about  the use of restrictive interventions please contact CBF Family Support on 0300 666 0126 or You may wish to read these frequently asked questions about safeguarding.

If you are interested in joining the RRISC network to receive regular updates, or have information to share, contact

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