Residential & Placement Licensing

102 CMR 3.07(7)(g) provides that "No resident shall be subjected to abuse or neglect, cruel, unusual, severe or corporal punishment including the following practices: 7. extensive separation from the group."

Extensive separation from the group is defined as separation of a resident from other residents within the program or from routine program activities for more than 24 hours without the pursuit of required emergency interventions, as outlined below. Routine program activities include but are not limited to meals, therapy, educational program, communication, and personal hygiene activities. For purposes of this policy, program privileges such as television, radio, off-campus recreational activities and other earned rewards or activities do not constitute routine program activities. In addition, transfer of the resident to another component of the program or to another program for a limited period in order to receive appropriate therapeutic services shall not be considered separation.

102 CMR 3.07(7)(k) identifies the components necessary to a behavior management policy which results in a resident being separated from the group or program activities. This separation, whether called "time out", "room time", "chair time", "out of program", "off mission", or any other name, must conform to she requirements of 3.07(7)(k). In accordance with 3.07(7)(k)3, no child may be given "time out" for more than 30 minutes without the approval of the chief administrative person or his or her designee. Such approval is subject to the following conditions:

  1. The chief administrative person or his or her designee must be a person at least one level above the personnel involved in the incident which resulted in the time out consequence.

  2. Approval for time out longer than 30 minutes may not be given at the outset of the time out, but must be sought when the resident has been in time out for a period approaching the 30 minute mark, and appears to require additional time out.

  3. Time out must end when the child's behavior indicates he or she is able to safely return to routine program activities. Approval for an extension of time out beyond the 30 minute mark can only be given if the child continues to exhibit out of control behavior, or if a behavior pattern requiring longer time out has been documented.

  4. If, at the end of a 24 hour period of time out, the resident is not able to safely return to routine program activities, the program must seek an emergency psychiatric or psychological evaluation, in accordance with the program's emergency mental health plan required by 3.06(3){a) The purpose of the evaluation shall be to determine the need for an alternative placement.

  5. Following an emergency psychiatric or psychological evaluation, the program must convene an emergency individual service plan meeting to determine how the program will assist the child in regaining control and rejoining the program, or how the program will maintain the child safely until transfer from the program to a more appropriate setting. The findings of the service planning meeting must be documented in the child's individual service plan.

Information provided by the Department of Early Education and Care . Created: September 25, 2008 Last Reviewed: May 29, 2008