ICHA Media Release: National Standards on Unregulated Provision (15.12.21)

Media Release

 National Standards on Unregulated Provision

The Independent Children’s Homes Association has concerns regarding the letter from the Secretary of State to Ofsted titled: Ofsted to register and inspect providers of supported accommodation for looked-after children and care leavers aged 16 and 17. Whilst we welcome the introduction of regulation and standards, we believe that an opportunity has been missed by inspecting providers rather than going into each home.  

The location and management of settings is key to the provision of safe care and unless Ofsted’s inspectors are able to physically view the care being provided and the setting within which it is being delivered, how can they say the provision is safely meeting young people's needs?  A major strength of Ofsted's current inspections of children's homes is that they physically enter them, observe the operations, and speak to the children and young people. We know through experience that failing to do this enables poor practice to go unchallenged and children to be placed at risk. We are therefore at a loss to understand why it is not being offered to this similarly vulnerable client group.

The registration and inspection framework timescales are tight, but we believe there can be no delay as currently these providers, let alone settings, are unregulated with children in public care being again made vulnerable.  For a child in care 2023 is still a long way off!



Notes to Editors


The Independent Children’s Homes Association Ltd (ICHA) is the voice of providers of residential child care services and resources across England and Wales. We are a Not-for-Profit Limited Company.

ICHA’s Vision: ‘Exemplary Residential Child Care.’

ICHA’s Mission: ‘A member-led organisation driving excellence in residential child care through innovation, collaboration and sector leadership’.

ICHA represents both large and small providers.  Some members have just one home whilst others have many homes across a wide geographic area.

Peter Sandiford


07597 982533

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