A range of meetings are held to develop and implement programs, activities and outings for children that meet their therapeutic and individual needs.
Outings for children and young people
The children’s successful integration into the local community is a key aim of residential care. This is best achieved through a comprehensive activity program for each child. The team should plan for opportunities to involve all children in community, sporting and recreation or leisure activities, including local police and schools.
The child’s individual daily program should include:
In addition to the daily program each home has a weekly program, and for holiday periods, a holiday activity program.
Community meetings occur daily, or more often. These meetings are used to find out how everyone feels each day, and show how much everyone cares about them. Three questions are asked:
The meetings help children (and staff) to learn new words to show their feelings and to practice asking other people for help when they need it.
Residents’ meetings are scheduled once a week and provide an opportunity for all workers and children to contribute to the running of the home. All meetings commence with a Community Meeting. Children should be encouraged to contribute ideas, to resolve issues and to learn lifestyle skills, such as democratic decision making and conflict resolution. Meetings should go ahead whether or not there is full participation by residents.
Children should be encouraged to develop the agenda. The agenda should be displayed in the home. The meeting minutes should be given to the all the children and the workers, and a copy should be kept on file in the workers office. Residential care teams are responsible for planning and conducting the weekly meetings.
Psycho-education groups are run in the homes weekly and during the school term by the residential care team. These groups follow the Sanctuary S.E.L.F. curriculum. The Psycho-education groups provide an opportunity for children to start addressing the effects of trauma, without focusing on specific individual events.
Red Flag meetings are held to address an issue that needs to be discussed by everyone. Red Flag Meetings can be called by children and staff. One person is in charge of making sure the meeting follows the rules. Examples of situations where a Red Flag Meeting may be called are:
Each child should have every opportunity to lead as normal a life as possible. Maintaining children’s existing relationships and community links, including school, recreational and leisure activities best supports their wellbeing. All outings must be conducted in a socially responsible manner with respect shown to the community and all who participate.
Assisting children to participate in a range of educational, life skills and recreational activities increases children’s’ connections with their families, other significant relationships, and the community. Contact with family, friends and community activities improves their sense of self and belonging.
Expanding the children’s learning and leisure activities also increases children’s range of skills and competencies. Activities may be formal or informal and conducted on an individual and/or group basis, but all should contribute to the child’s normalisation and developmental processes.
Note: For information about overnight stays refer to the Casework Practice Manual entry Overnight stays and other activities.
Residential care workers and children develop and implement ‘activity programs’ together. The activity programs must reflect children’s needs, wishes and the overall program objectives.
Planning should incorporate lifestyle and recreational activities in which both the children and the residential care workers participate. During school hours, programs should reflect educational activities for each child as per his or her education plan, and be developed in consultation with the education officer. School holiday programmes provide daily recreational activities that cater to the children’s interests and developmental needs and level. These should be developed in consultation with the recreation officer.
When completed all programs should be available to residential care workers and children.