I think providing a good example/use case might help to get a better answer here. That said, if I'm understanding you correctly, you could consider doing a Set-Message both in the calling activity to log the failure of the called activity, as well as in the called activity itself to log the specific step that failed. If, of course, you want to log that level of detail.
Since the properties checked by StepStatusFail are so volatile and are set by so many things (for example, maybe if a called activity successfully returns to its caller, the property is set to GOOD !!!) , I suggest you use "pass current parameter page" when calling your inner activity and have an agreed-upon Boolean parameter, for example call it "innerOK" . Your inner activity will set innerOK parameter to true or false and the caller can check that parameter to decide whether the inner activity succeeded. (You can then have another parameter innerReason that reveals what went wrong for looking at if innerOK comes back false) /Eric