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6.6 Health and Medication

Last Modified: 23-Jun-2022 Review Date: 01-Jun-2019

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Legislation


​​To assist residential care workers to develop practice that promotes good health outcomes for all children.

Practice Requirements

  • ​​All medication must be recorded on the appropriate Medication Chart and stored safely and securely. 
  • Prescription medication must not be administered to a child unless verified by a medical practitioner or case manager.
  • Residential care workers must administer all non-prescribed medication (Panadol, cough medicine) to children as directed by product labelling, and record this accurately. 
  • Residential care workers must: 
    • ​monitor the health needs of all children 
    • implement and promote agreed procedures and practices to optimise good health outcomes and maintain safety for all children; 
    • keep detailed and accurate records about the provision of health care to children; 
    • provide first aid where required, and 
    • apply first aid care to a child in an emergency until professional assistance is provided.

Critical phone pumbers -

  • ​​​​Poisons Information 13 11 26 (24 hours)
  • Health Direct 1800 022 222 (24 hours)
  • ​Princess Margaret Hospital 9340 8222​​


  • Overview
  • Administration
  • Medical records and Medication Charts
  • Overview

    ​​To meet the Department’s duty of care obligations residential care workers must recognise and respond to the changing health needs of children and accidents involving children. Case managers must discuss each child’s health needs with residential care staff to meet the child’s immediate health needs. 

    The case manager must: 

    • provide accurate and relevant information about the child ’s health history, and any current medical condition, alerts or any other health care 
    • advise residential care workers if the child is bringing any medication to the residential care home and assist them to accurately complete a Medication Chart 
    • provide residential care workers with (written) information about: 
      • the reason for taking medication 
      • the name of the medication, dosage, when it must be taken and any other relevant information, and 
      • whether the child is able to self-administer or if staff supervision is necessary. 

    When a child arrives at a residential group home a standard medical record is prepared as part of the child’s initial residential care plan. This records all relevant medication details. These should be confirmed by the child’s case manager and the child (if appropriate) at the time or at the earliest possible opportunity. 

    If the child is prescribed a medication, a Medication Chart must be prepared (and include a photo of the child to correctly identify the child). This form is used to record medication as it is given.  A residential care worker must sign the form to verify that the medication was offered and taken. Alternatively, a refusal should be recorded as such. 

    The administration of medication must also be recorded in the Log Book. Residential care workers must: 

    • record the child’s name in the left column, followed by the time and the notation “medication taken” or “medication refused”. If medication is refused for longer than a 24 hour period the case manager must be notified. 
    • always check the Medication Chart and Log Book to verify time and date medication was last administered before administrating further medication, and 
    • never give the child more than the prescribed amount. If in doubt an appointment must be made with the doctor at the earliest possible time.


    ​​Independent administration of medication by a child is not generally appropriate. Where this occurs, however, it is dependent upon the age of the child and the nature of their health care needs (for example, asthma inhaler). 

    Incorrectly labelled medication, unused, or out of date medication must be returned to the pharmacy for disposal. 

    Where possible the child’s medication should be prepared in blister packs to make sure that the correct dosage is provided. This should always be the procedure for a child in non-emergency situations. 

    Before administering any medication, the residential care worker must check the following: 

    • ​that the child is the same person as named on the medication container and identified by the photo on the Medication Chart 
    • that the child is not under the influence of other drugs or substances, and 
    • the name of the medication, dosage and time. 

    The residential care worker administering the medication must check that the child has consumed the medication. 


    Medical records and Medication Charts

    ​​Important medical information must be discussed and recorded when a child is placed in the home. Discussion must include information about medical alerts, medication and any other health concerns. 

    Medication Charts must be completed before any medication is administered to the child.  A staff member must sign this form stating that the medication was offered and taken. Alternatively, a refusal should be recorded as such. 

    Each child’s Medication Chart must be scanned into his or her Residential Care Objective file regularly.


Related Resources

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Policies

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Standards