Children’s homes workforce: a call for evidence

The Department for Education is launching this Call for Evidence in
response to a recommendation made by the Independent Inquiry into Child
Sexual Abuse (IICSA), in its Interim Report
published in April 2018, that the Government should introduce
professional registration requirements for those working in care roles
in children’s homes. Specifically, the recommendations were that:

  • The Department for Education introduces arrangements for the registration of staff working in care roles in children’s homes;
  • Registration should be with an independent body charged with
    setting and maintaining standards of training, conduct, and continuing
    professional development, and with the power to enforce these through
    fitness to practise procedures; and
  • Recognising that registration may require a period of phasing in,
    priority should be given to professional registration of children’s home
    managers.

In response, we committed to explore the merits of further workforce
regulation and the potential impact of taking the recommendation
forward, through an evidence gathering exercise – in the form of a
literature review and this Call for Evidence, through which we are
seeking input from the sector.

In addition to developing an understanding of the potential impact of
taking forward the recommendation, we have expanded the scope to seek
the sector’s views on a broader range of workforce issues. These
questions have been developed in partnership with research associates
and the sector, to ensure questions are focussed on the most critical
children’s homes workforce issues.

Children’s homes provide care and accommodation for some of our most
vulnerable children in society, and it is vital that we ensure
appropriate safeguards are in place to protect them from harm.

Children’s homes must have a manager in place, who is registered with
Ofsted and has had their fitness to practice assessed.  All staff must
have enhanced DBS checks before they can work in a children’s home, and
homes must have policies and procedures in place to protect children,
which includes appropriate recruitment practice.  Ofsted assesses this
on inspection and can take enforcement action where necessary, including
removing homes and managers from the register.  More information on the
existing requirements can be found in the guide to the Children’ Homes Regulations.

While there are comprehensive measures in place to protect children,
the Department is clear that we will not be complacent and we welcome
views from the sector on the robustness of the existing regime to
protect children in children’s homes, particularly where this concerns
the workforce.  This Call for Evidence will support us to do this

Children’s homes workforce: a call for evidence

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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