The Top three requirements made on children’s homes inspections

Helen Humphrey’s HMI, a specialist advisor for residential care recently recorded a brief video on the top three requirements that are made following Ofsted inspections of children’s homes.  A number of key points from the video are summarised below.

Ofsted analysed all the requirements made in children’s homes over the last 12 months and developed a ‘top 10’ of the most frequently made requirements.  The top three requirements and a summary of Ms Humphrey’s comments on them are listed below:

  1. Risk assessments
  • Ofsted regularly find they are not detailed enough or don’t cover particular concerns about a particular child;
  • Inspectors frequently come across risk assessments which are generic templates where risk is exactly the same from the same hazard and mitigation is exactly the same;
  • Ms Humphrey’s advised that providers should look at risk assessments to ensure they are individual to that child.
  1. Workforce and workforce development
    • It is important that sufficient numbers of staff are employed with the right skills and experience to meet the needs of young people in a home;
    • Staff should be provided with appropriate levels of continual supervision and training to meet the needs of the young people in a home;
    • Staff should understand the basic information about young people such as the name of the school, teacher and their legal status.
  2. Internal and external monitoring
    • Reports made under Regulation 44 of the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015 still do not provide sufficient guidance and advice for managers to improve their service;
    • Internal monitoring has developed from the previous checklist that was required under the old regulations and now allows the manager to select those areas that it thinks require further consideration for development;
    • Outstanding leaders look to continually develop their service.

Further information on the ‘top 10’ can be reviewed in Ofsted’s annual report 2016.  Providers of children’s homes should take note of these requirements in order to ensure that they can demonstrate they are providing good care to the young people they care for.

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