Management and Administrative Regulations

Contents

Guidance on Chapter 3 of the Regulations – Registered Persons
Guidance on Chapter 4 of the Regulations – Staffing
Guidance on Chapter 5 of the Regulations – Policies, Records, Complaints and Notifications
Guidance on Part 6 of the Regulations – Monitoring and Reviewing Children’s Homes


Guidance on Chapter 3 of the Regulations – Registered Persons

Appointment and fitness of registered persons

12.1

Regulations 26 and 28 set out the fitness requirements for the registered provider and managers. See the explanation of terms (see Explanation of Terms) for information on their different roles. If the registered provider is an organisation, the directors involved in the carrying on of a children’s home must also satisfy fitness requirements (regulation 26(4)). This is to ensure that children’s safety and welfare is protected.

12.2

Every home must have a person managing it. Under regulations 27, that person will either be:

  • The registered provider if they are an individual, and fit person to manage a children’s home; or
  • An individual that the registered provider appoints as manager.

12.3

If the registered provider is an organisation, they must appoint an individual as the Responsible Individual for the home. The Responsible Individual’s role is to supervise the management of the home as set out in the definition of a Responsible Individual in regulation 2. They should have an understanding of both effective practice in responding to the needs of looked-after children and of local authority care planning duties and how children’s homes are required to support these.

12.4

Ofsted, as the regulator of children’s homes can at any time scrutinise the fitness of a Responsible Individual, either through inspection or as a stand-alone event. Regulation 26(7)(b) requires the Responsible Individual to have the capacity, experience and skills to supervise the management of each children’s home that they are Responsible Individual for. This includes being able to demonstrate that they have the essential skills needed to develop the leadership and management of homes within their remit such that the homes have the capacity and capability to meet the Quality Standards. There is no limit to the number of homes that a person can be appointed as Responsible Individual for, but they must be able to demonstrate that they can effectively supervise the management of each home individually, as well as all of the homes overall.

12.5

When the person who is in day to day charge of the home proposes to be absent from the home for a continuous period of 28 days or more, they must notify Ofsted in writing (regulation 48). The registered person must also notify Ofsted of a range of other changes to the running of the home (regulations 49, 50 and 51).


Guidance on Chapter 4 of the Regulations – Staffing

Employment and supervision of staff

13.1

As set out in regulations 31-33, the registered person is responsible for maintaining good employment practice. They must ensure that recruitment, supervision and performance management of staff safeguards children and minimises potential risks to them.

13.2

The registered person must have systems in place so that all staff, including the manager, receive supervision of their practice from an appropriately qualified and experienced professional, which allows them to reflect on their practice and the needs of the children assigned to their care. Professionally qualified staff employed by the home, e.g. teachers or social workers, should be provided with relevant professional or clinical supervision by an appropriately qualified and experienced professional.

13.3

A record of supervision should be kept for staff, including the manager. The record should provide evidence that supervision is being delivered in line with regulation 33(4)(b).

13.4

It is good practice for a note of the content and/or outcomes of supervision sessions to be kept and to ensure that both the person giving the supervision and staff member have a copy of the record.

13.5

All staff must have their performance and fitness to carry out their role formally appraised at least once annually. This appraisal should take into account, where reasonable and practical, the views of other professionals who have worked with the staff member over the year and children in the home’s care. As part of the performance management process, poor performance should be addressed by a timely plan to bring about improvement.

13.6

Qualification requirements for staff are listed in Annex A: Qualifications for Staff Working in Children’s Homes.


Guidance on Chapter 5 of the Regulations – Policies, Records, Complaints and Notifications

Keeping records electronically

14.1

Some records may be kept electronically (regulation 38) provided that this information can be easily accessed by anyone with a legitimate need to view it and, if required, be reproduced in a legible form. Electronic records should be held at the individual home in accordance with data protection principles. IT systems should ensure the safe storage of these records and business continuity planning should be in place to prevent loss or damage to them.

Keeping records on children in the home

14.2

Regulations 35-39 detail the records that must be kept in children’s homes.  All children’s case records (regulation 36) must be kept up to date and stored securely whilst they remain in the home. Case records must be kept up-to-date and signed and dated by the author of each entry. Children’s case records must be kept for 75 years from the date of birth of the child, or if the child dies before the age of 18, for 15 years from the date of his or her death.

14.3

Staff should be familiar with the home’s policies on record keeping and understand the importance of careful, objective, and clear recording. Staff should record information on individual children in a non-stigmatising way that distinguishes between fact, opinion and third-party information. Information about the child must always be recorded in a way that will be helpful to the child.

14.4

The home’s records on each child represent a significant contribution to their life history. Children and their parents should be supported to understand the nature of records kept by the home and how to access them. Staff should understand their important role in encouraging the child to reflect on and understand their history, according to their age and understanding. Staff should keep and encourage children to keep appropriate memorabilia of the time spent living at the home and help them record significant life events.

Access to records and sharing requirements

14.5

Children should be actively encouraged to read their records and to add further information to them. They should be regularly reminded of their rights to see information kept about them and be given information about how they might be supported to access their records in later life.

14.6

Staff must also be familiar with information sharing requirements relating to the children they care for. They should have access to the information sharing policy and procedures specified by the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) for the area where the home is located.

14.7

If a home closes or is taken over by a different registered provider, it is important that children’s case records continue to be stored securely for the required period of time (regulation 36(2)) so that children can access their case records in later life. If the registered provider runs other homes, the case records must be kept in the nearest home (regulation 36(4)(a)(b)). In cases where the home and its registered provider cease to operate entirely, the case records must be passed to the child’s placing authority (regulation 36(5)) or, as the case may be, the local authority that maintains an EHC plan for the child or the child’s SEN statement.

Notification of serious events

14.8

Regulation 40(1) and (3) require the registered person to notify a specified list of people in the event of the death of a child, or if there is a referral of an individual working in the home in accordance with section 35 of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.  In addition, the registered person must notify other relevant persons– this may include other professionals, services, organisations, agencies or establishments who are or have been involved in the child’s care. It is for the registered person to judge who else it is appropriate to notify depending on the individual circumstances of the incident.

14.9

Regulation 40(4) requires the registered person to notify Ofsted and other relevant persons if one of the situations specified in regulation 40(4)(a)-(d) occurs, or if there is an incident relating to the protection, safeguarding or welfare of a child living in the home which the registered person considers to be serious (40(4)(e)).

14.10

Examples of incidents that are likely to be considered serious affecting the welfare of a child include: a child being the victim or perpetrator of a serious assault; a serious illness or accident; a serious incident of self-harm, or serious concerns over a child’s missing behaviour, particularly where the child is considered to be at grave risk due to age or vulnerability or where they have been missing for a considerable period of time and their whereabouts is unknown. This is not an exhaustive list and homes must assess each case individually taking into account any patterns of behaviour or unusual behaviour which may indicate an increased risk to the child.  Homes should also consider the frequency of incidents and judge whether their cumulative effect makes notification appropriate even if in isolation each event would not warrant this.

14.11

It is for the registered person to judge whether the incident is sufficiently serious to make formal notifications and, if it is, which other relevant persons may be notified, for example, the police, probation service, health professionals, the local authority for the area the home is located in (if this is not the child’s placing authority) and others involved with the care or protection of the child.

14.12

The registered person should have a system in place so that all serious events are notified, within 24 hours, to the appropriate people. The system should cover the action that should be followed if the event arises at the weekend or on a public holiday. Notification must include details of the action taken by the home’s staff in response to the event.

14.13

The home’s record of the event must include a description of the action taken and the outcome of any resulting investigation. Following a notifiable event under regulation 40 the home should contact the placing authority to discuss the need for further action.

14.14

The registered person should also have a system for notification to responsible authorities of any serious concerns about the emotional or mental health of a child such that a mental health assessment would be requested under the Mental Health Act 1983.

Secure children’s homes

14.15

Secure Children’s Homes (SCH) should notify Ofsted under regulation 40(4) if any of the following incidents occur:

  • A child accesses or receives electronic material that may suggest that are at increased risk of, or being subjected to sexual exploitation (40)(4)(a);
  • A child absconds from the SCH or an escort service whilst away from the SCH (40)(4)(e);
  • A child has a serious accident while in the SCH or with an escort service whilst away from the SCH (40)(4)(e);
  • A child makes or receives unauthorised contact with a family member, friend or other person that the child’s relevant plan states they should not be in contact with (40)(4)(e).

14.16

It is for the registered person to decide if an accident is serious, but is likely to include those accidents that require medical treatment to be administered in the SCH (other than basic first aid), or medical treatment administered in a hospital.

14.17

If a child dies in a secure children’s home, the registered person must allow the Prison and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) to investigate the death, in line with regulation 40(2) and (6).


Guidance on Part 6 of the Regulations – Monitoring and Reviewing Children’s Homes

Review of premises

15.1

When establishing the home, the registered person must ensure that it is suitably located so that children are effectively safeguarded and can access services to meet needs identified in their relevant plans (see regulations 12(2)(c)). Under regulation 46,  the registered person should review the appropriateness and suitability of the location and premises of the home at least once a year. The review should include the identification of any risks and opportunities presented by the home’s location and strategies for managing these. Providers should refer to the non-statutory advice about the location assessment process: Children's homes regulation amendments 2014: Advice  for children's homes providers on new duties under regulations that came in to effect in January and April 2014.

Review of quality of care

15.2

Regulation 45 sets out requirements for the registered person to have a system in place which allows them to monitor the matters set out in the regulation at least once every six months; also see regulation 13(2)(h) (the leadership and management standard). The registered person should undertake a review that focuses on the quality of the care provided by the home, the experiences of children living there and the impact the care is having on outcomes and improvements for the children. Reviews should be underpinned by the Quality Standards as described in regulations 5 to 14.

15.3

The processes the registered person puts in place to enable such a review to take place, should allow for a report to be generated at least once every six months. The generated report should be sent to Ofsted and the placing local authority of all children in the home who are looked-after children.

15.4

The registered person is responsible for deciding what each review should focus on, based on the specific circumstances of the home at that particular time and any areas of high risk to the children that the home is designed to care for, such as missing or exploitation. They will also consider what information or data recorded in the home will form part of the evidence base for their analysis and conclusions. There is no expectation that the registered person will review the home against every part of the Quality Standards every six months – registered persons should use their professional  judgement to decide which factors to focus on. The review should enable the registered person to identify areas of strength and possible weakness in the home’s care, which will be captured in the written report. The report should clearly identify any actions required for the next 6 months of delivery within the home and how those actions will be addressed. The whole review process and the resulting report should be used as a tool for continuous improvement in the home.

Visits by an independent person

15.5

Any individual appointed to carry out visits to the home as an independent person must make a rigorous and impartial assessment of the home’s arrangements for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the children in the home’s care.

15.6

Any individual appointed to carry out visits to the home as an independent person must make a rigorous and impartial assessment of the home’s arrangements for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the children in the home’s care.

15.7

Where the independent person is an employee of those carrying on the children’s home, they must be employed solely for the purpose of quality assurance within the home(s).

15.8

The registered provider should also ensure that the independent person they appoint has the skills and understanding necessary to:

  • Relate to children in a home’s care;
  • Assess all relevant information; and
  • Form an impartial judgement about the quality of the home’s care.

15.9

The skills, experience and professional background of the independent person, for example in undertaking work of a similar nature, will also be a relevant factor in assessing their ability to reach a rigorous and impartial judgment.

15.10