To encourage appropriate, safe and managed interactions with animals in the home and community.
Interaction with animals may provide therapeutic benefit to some children, supporting emotional regulation and the processing of loss and grief. This interaction must be planned.
A number of residential care homes are located in semi-rural areas on large ‘bush’ blocks. Adjacent properties and neighbours may have a number of domesticated animals and pets, and native animals may also be present.
Children’s contact with these animals must be assessed and managed by staff. Consideration needs to be made for the following risk factors:
Where residential care workers bring their own animals to a home to interact with the children, the care team should plan and manage the event, taking into account the risk factors listed above.
Residential care workers may contact other organisations to plan for children’s contact with animals for example, for horse-riding or working with the RSPCA.