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9.15 Cross Gender Care Policy


Bathing Children and Young People Policy

This chapter was added to the manual in June 2013.


  1. Policy Aim
  2. Policy
  3. Procedure

1. Policy Aim

To ensure staff are sensitive to gender issues when providing personal care to children and young people at Breakaway of the opposite sex.

  • Cross gender care is defined as care given by males to females and care given by females to males;
  • Personal care is defined as intimate or personal physical care given to children and young people by staff/carers; for example bathing, dressing, undressing and using the toilet.

2. Policy

Breakaway operates a cross gender care policy. This means that male carers can conduct the personal care of female children/young people, and female carers can conduct the personal care of male children/young people.  

Staff are required to respect and maintain the dignity and privacy of each child/young person, promote each child/young person’s independence while protecting them from harm and establish and maintain each child/young person’s trust and confidence.

3. Procedure

During the induction of a new child/young person to Breakaway the nominated Keyworker will explain to the child/young person and their parents/carers, Breakaway’s policy on cross gender care. If the child/young person or parents/carers objects to this policy the Keyworker will discuss the situation with the management team of Breakaway. It will be the management team’s decision as to whether Breakaway can meet the particular needs of the child and if so will put in place the appropriate measures.

Certain criteria need to be taken into account before a decision is made to provide personal cross gender care. Staff should consider:

  • The wishes of the child/young person;
  • What is practically possible on each individual shift taking into account staffing, children/young people and their genders;
  • The child/young person’s individual needs, taking into account their culture, religion and values. (Refer to the child/young person’s Care Plan and risk assessments).

All Breakaway care workers must ensure they will:

  • Only conduct a child/young person’s personal care if it is required;
  • Inform their colleagues of what they are doing and where they are doing it.

Where Breakaway care workers have particular concerns regarding the health and safety of a child/young person or of themselves, with regard to cross gender care, they must inform the management team of Breakaway as soon as possible. If the management team deem it appropriate this issue will be discussed further during a team meeting.