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3.1 Placement and Transition of a Child into and out of Department Residential Group Homes (Metro and Country)

Last Modified: 08-Apr-2022 Review Date: 01-Jun-2019


​To provide information about procedures and documentation required when a child enters and leaves the care of a residential group home.

Practice Requirements

  • The Referral and Placement Principles and Protocols and Matching considerations for a child and potential care arrangement table Related Resources should used for children being considered for Residential Care, notwithstanding exceptional circumstances for emergency placements.  
  • ​​All children being placed in Residential Group homes must be accompanied by a responsible adult, or otherwise negotiated with the manager (on-call). 
  • Whenever possible, a child entering or leaving a residential group home should do so in a planned manner. 
  • The home’s staff and the appropriate district office staff must undertake initial and ongoing assessment, review and planning, and the provision of resources required to implement therapeutic care.  This includes appropriate 
  • If a child has reporting conditions under the Community Offender Reporting Act 2004, that child cannot be placed in a Residential Care arrangement with other children.
  • The Department of Communities (the Department) must not knowingly place a child who is subject to reporting conditions under the Community Protection Offender Reporting Act 2004 (CPOR Act) in Residential Care with other children.
  • If it becomes known that a child has these reporting conditions and they are in a Residential Care home with other children a new care arrangement must be arranged for that child as soon as possible. 
  • Refer to the Casework Practice Manual 2.1.2 Care arrangements for children considered a risk to others.
  • Each child must have an individual Safety Plan. Refer to 4.3 Individual Safety Plans
  • The key worker, residential care workers and the child’s case manager must follow the procedures and guidelines set out in the Welcome to Care package (in related resources) to safely transition the child into the home environment. 
  • All property brought into the home by a child must be checked to make sure that nothing of a dangerous nature is brought into the home. This may need to be done on a regular basis if residential care workers believe that inappropriate or dangerous items are being brought into the home. Refer to 4.9 Search and Seizure.
  • District workers are responsible for arranging access to appropriate leaving care services for children leaving the care of the CEO (this includes all children leaving the care of the CEO, not just a child aged 15 years or older). Residential care workers can offer or provide support where appropriate.​


  • Before placement
  • Transition to Residential Care homes
  • When the child arrives
  • Transition from Residential Care homes
  • Out of hours placement
  • Before placement

    ​​Whenever possible, the child’s case manager and manager should have a placement planning meeting before the child is placed. 

    Whenever possible, the manager should allocate a key worker before the child is placed. 

    Residential care workers should read the documentation about the child’s behaviours and care history provided from the district office when available. This should include the child’s care plan, and Child Information Form (placement referral).


    Transition to Residential Care homes

    ​Whenever possible the child and his or her case manager should plan a visit to the home before placement. At this visit: 

    1. ​The child’s case manager accompanies the child to the residential home. 
    2. Establish a daily plan and routine and develop an Individual Safety Plan to implement a therapeutic care. 
    3. Schedule the date for the planning meeting to occur within 10 working days.

    When the child arrives

    ​When a child first arrives at the home, the residential care worker greeting the child should: 

    1. ​​Welcome the child. 
    2. Introduce themselves and other children and residential care workers. 
    3. Show the child around the home – their bedroom, bathroom, common areas, etc. 
    4. Reassure and help child settle in. 
    5. Discuss the home’s guidelines and expectations, and answer the child’s questions etc.​

    Transition from Residential Care homes

    ​​A planning meeting to map out the child’s needs and processes must be undertaken before the child transitions to the next placement. The district, and the child’s case manager are responsible for planning for leaving the placement in the home, but residential care workers must work/assist in the process. 

    For more information refer to Casework Practice Manual entry Leaving the CEO’s care.


    Out of hours placement

    ​​​In an emergency out of hours placement via Crisis Care can be arranged as an overnight stay. The placement ends at 9am the next business day, and the child must return to the district office. It is the district’s responsibility to request a placement via the Central Referral Team.​​​