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3.5.4 Leisure and Recreation


This chapter sets out the general principles in relation to leisure and recreation, which should be applied to every Child in Care.

It should be read in conjunction with Activities and Transporting Children Procedure and Children's Services Transport Procedure.

See also Correspondence, Communication and Social Networking Procedure and Child Safety Online: A practical A prectical guide for parents and carers whose children are using social media


This chapter was updated and refreshed in December 2013 to provide further information around risk management. It includes new links.


  1. General  
  2. Computers, Electronic Games, Social Media and Films 

1. General

  1. Every Child in Care must be encouraged to participate in recreational, social and leisure activities, suitable to their needs and interests, on a group and individual basis; within and outside their home;
  2. Children should have occasional opportunities to participate in special trips, outings and have at least one holiday per year. 

    See also Holidays and School/Organisational Trips Outside the UK Procedure, and Holidays and School/Organisational Trips Inside the UK Procedure;
  3. Birthdays, name days, cultural and religious festivals must be celebrated;
  4. Children must be encouraged to pursue hobbies, recreational interests and sports;
  5. There should be a proper balance between free and controlled time in the child’s daily routine;
  6. Risk Assessments must be completed before activities are undertaken and plans implemented to reduce or prevent identified risks (see Activities and Transporting Children Procedure);
  7. Where an activity or venue carry potential dangers the correct Health and Safety checks and assessments must be followed. For activities that are categorised as High Risk/Adventurous under the Adventurous Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) the Organisation must be registered with the AALA. Please refer to the Education Visits and Adventurous Activities Guidance. It is imperative that the risk assessments are signed off by the relevant officer. Written parental consent should also be obtained;
  8. Children should have access to, and a choice in the selection of, e-reader, books and magazines suitable to their age and level of understanding;
  9. Children should have access to suitable personal items and electronic devices and preferably have the responsibility for them;
  10. Transport used should not be marked in such a way as to distinguish it from an ordinary family vehicle, unless it has been received by a residential home as a charitable donation in which case it may carry the name of the donating charity; or if it is a taxi;
  11. Children should be encouraged and enabled to make and sustain friendships with children of their own age outside the home. This may involve friends visiting the home, and reciprocal arrangements to visit friends’ homes. Carers are to ensure any friends visiting the home do not pose a risk and make appropriate checks as a "good parent" would to ensure children's safety.

    See also Contact with Relatives and Friends Procedure.

2. Computers, Electronic Games, Social Media and Films

  1. Children should be encouraged and supported to use the current technology, including the Internet, and electronic games and devices suitable to their age and level of understanding. Carers requiring advice on the safe use of the internet should seek appropriate training from LCC. Information can be obtained from the Action for Children website or from the Local Safeguarding Board on Internet Safety. (See Lincolnshire SCB Policy and Procedures Manual, Child Abuse and Information Communication Technology Procedure);
  2. Children may only watch DVD's, television programmes or view social media suitable to their designated age and with regard to their individual circumstances. Carer's have a responsibility to monitor what children are viewing within the home and remove any illegal copies.