Thinking of Opening a Home?
A requirement for membership of ICHA is to already have a registered children’s home, or for associate membership, to provide related services.
However I can give a few useful comments.
Please see first the information in the FAQ section of our website https://www.icha.org.uk/faq.php re setting up a children’s home. It is important to be aware that registration can be a lengthy process.
If you’re opening a children’s home, having the right insurance to protect you against the unique risks that comes with running a home brings is essential. Having specialist care consultancy on hand to help you with running the home, will prove invaluable too.
Our sponsor, Markel UK, a specialist insurer to the charity and care sector with over 25 years’ experience and, Wilby, the care sector insurance broker, can provide these services at competitive rates for ICHA members.
Members can also obtain care consultancy services from Janjer. Janjer are there to advise on a wide range of care-specific issues, including business management, risk management, and business continuity planning. This includes a pay as you go service and a monthly subscription service. Further details of Janjer services can be found here.
The sector is highly regulated and you will need to be aware of the need to employ staff experienced in childcare and not least, a Registered Manager who meets OFSTED requirements. The lead-in time to establishing a children’s home is substantial and you will be faced with significant setup costs, not only in terms of the property but in terms of recruitment of staff, training, establishing written procedures etc.
ICHA would caution anyone who is not experienced in residential child care to be aware of the current regulatory and market conditions, and to have researched the need in your proposed geographic location very carefully. Be aware that many local authorities operate an approved provider list, many of which are accessed through a tender exercise and it may be that you will have to wait until the approved list is re-tendered until you can tender to be on that approved supplier listing. We therefore advise that you first do a substantial amount of background work to familiarise yourself with the sector and its requirements.
We are not permitted to recommend services but will be compiling a list of consultants, who offer services to children’s homes to ensure they meet all standards before and after registration.
Please note: You should always undertake your own ‘due diligence’ of any companies/services.
ICHA requires members already have a registered home, however, if you have an application already ‘submitted to Ofsted’ awaiting finalisation, you would be eligible to apply to become an Associate ‘Holding’ Member with a proviso that you are required to notify ICHA, once your registration is finalised.
You would then become a ‘full ICHA member’.