New guidance published registration of children’s care services

The government published new guidelines yesterday intended to clarify the registration arrangements for service providers who offer services to children which may be caught by either Ofsted or CQC registration requirements, or both.

The guidance applies to both inspectors at each regulator and providers of both CQC regulated services and those children’s services which are regulated by Ofsted which include children’s homes (including secure children’s homes), independent fostering agencies, voluntary adoption agencies, adoption support agencies, residential family centres and residential holiday schemes for disabled children.

Not all homes require registration.

Providers should be clear on the services they are offering, and on registration requirements. Particularly where children are concerned, there may be overlaps in services being provided.

Service providers are encouraged to review the new guidance and ensure that they are aware of registration requirements. Both Ofcom and Ofsted publish various guides on how to identify whether services carried out require registration if there is any doubt.

If providers are in any way unsure about their registration requirements, they should seek legal advice as soon as possible. It is a criminal offence to carry out activity that requires registration, without being registered. This applies to both Ofsted registered services and CQC registered services.

The new guidance is available here.

If service providers have any questions about the new guide, or on registration requirements more generally, they can contact Ridouts on 0207 317 0340.