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4.4 Children’s Activity and Program Planning

Last Modified: 04-May-2017 Review Date: 01-Jun-2019


​​A range of meetings are held to develop and implement programs, activities and outings for children that meet their therapeutic and individual needs.

Practice Requirements

  • ​​Children​ must be involved in the planning, implementation and review processes for their care arrangements. 
  • All children placed in the home must be given their own copy of the Charter of Rights for Children and Young People in the CEO’s Care (in related resources) and have their rights explained in a developmentally appropriate way. 
  • Residential care workers must attend resident meetings to assist in developing the individual and weekly programs. 
  • All homes must have a weekly and holiday planner which incorporates children’s individual appointments and house activity plans. Refer to the Residential Care House Weekly Planner - Template.

Outings for children and young people 

  • ​​In general, outings must be conducted in a planned manner and should be reflected in the child’s activity program. 
  • Planning must include a discussion of any potential risk factors (such as medical and health related) and the behavioural expectations of the community. 
  • Managers (or their delegate) can sign the permission slips for school excursions and activities that do not involve a waiver of legal rights. 
  • Activities deemed high risk that require a waiver of legal rights (for example, horse riding, abseiling, go karting, paint balling, etc.) must have prior written approval from the child’s caseworker. 
  • Workers must follow Sun Smart guidelines provided by the Cancer Council of WA for all outdoor activities. Both residential care workers and children must be 60 provided with high protection sun block to use before and during any outdoor activities, and should wear a hat and suitable clothing whilst outdoors. 
  • Under all circumstances the child’s developmental ability and any known risks must be taken into account in planning for activities and outings. 
  • If an incident occurs, the child’s Safety Plan must be reviewed. ​


  • Overview
  • Community meetings
  • Weekly ‘residents’ meetings’
  • Psycho-education groupwork
  • Red Flag meetings
  • Planning - Children’s outings and activities
  • Overview

    ​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: 

    • ​daily living routines 
    • education and health needs 
    • food choices and meal preparation 
    • activities and opportunities, and 
    • meetings and links with the family and community. 

    In addition to the daily program each home has a weekly program, and for holiday periods, a holiday activity program. 


    Community meetings

    ​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: 

    • How are you feeling today? 
    • What is your goal for today? and 
    • ​Who can you ask for help? 

    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.​


    Weekly ‘residents’ meetings’

    ​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 groupwork

    ​​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

    ​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: 

    • ​when a member of staff or a child is hurt badly 
    • a child starts to run away repeatedly 
    • a child is experiencing severe bullying 
    • staff and/or child feel scared, worried or angry about something, and 
    • when stories from staff or children make us really worried.​

    Planning - Children’s outings and activities

    ​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​.


Related Resources

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Policies

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Standards