“State of the Market” survey of residential children’s homes

February 2018. Jonathan Stanley, Independent Children’s Homes Association CEO and Forum member writes:


Being primary source material this survey report provides a valuable insight into the children’s homes sector at a very important time. This is not people external to the sector observing and describing how they think it is, this is the people involved in the sector sharing with others how it is.

It is open communication. The results of the survey included in this report resonate accurately with the issues being raised and concerns expressed by members of ICHA in the months leading up to the survey.


The findings are of major concern.

Looking over the four surveys completed we can see three diverging trajectories; optimism and confidence, pessimism and lack of security, and ambivalence.The volatility of conditions and situations should not be underestimated. That there is the presence of ambivalence, especially in a situation of buoyant referrals, should be an alert and lead to action.

Ambivalence  is  debilitating. Where turmoil continues uncertainty is always a potential for destabilising a sector that requires stability. For children’s homes to offer a secure base they also need to operate within an environment that provides stability. We need all homes to be working in a financial, emotional, professional environment where all feel a belonging, experience being involved with colleague commissioning caregivers, everyone working in a focused, child-led way, effectively, with sensitivity and acceptance, promoting co-operation, attentive to others self-esteem. This report documents that providers experience contrasts sharply with that secure base.

This report provides important urgent information for the Residential Care Leadership Board. The emphasis must be on Leadership for Government, local authorities,  providers. This report shows the time for a connected caregiving approach is now. 

Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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