- The conditions for residing in the Mothers with Babies Unit (MBU) are outlined in [M.03.08.Form.02 Parenting agreement]. Staff will explain the agreement which the mother must sign before accepted into the unit.
- The [M.03.08.Form.02 Parenting agreement] outlines that if a mother is found to have committed a disciplinary offence, her child may be removed from the prison where her behaviour is deemed to be a risk to her child of the safe functioning of the MBU.
- In situations where a misconduct or breach of the M.03.08.Form.02 Parenting agreement] is identified and a mother is at risk of having her child removed, a multi-disciplinary panel should convene.
- The panel will provide advice to the prison director to identify:
- whether the disciplinary offence suggests a risk towards the child or the safe functioning of the MBU, or
- whether alternative responses to the non-compliance can mitigate the risk.
- The outcome decision should always consider the child’s best interest. The decision should be proportionate to the level of identified risk, especially when there is potential for separating a child from their mother.
Decisions around parent child separation should be in the best interest of the child and their safety.
The short- and long-term effects should be considered.
The best interests of the child must be at the core of planning – consider who can provide this viewpoint, such as whānau, the Support Service, midwife (if within 6 weeks post-partum) and/or Oranga Tamariki.
- Any decision to remove the mother and child from the MBU will be made by the prison director. The child will be placed in the care of the alternative caregiver.
- Unless there is imminent risk towards the child, plans for leaving the MBU should be focused on reducing the potential for trauma that separation may have on the child and mother.
- If the mother is exited from the MBU, consideration must be given to how the mother-child bond will be maintained.