Revised regulations, guidance and National Minimum Standards (NMS) set out how children’s homes are expected to fulfill their statutory responsibilities. The statutory framework has been revised and streamlined so that it is consistent with wider revisions to the legal framework governing care planning for looked after children. Revised arrangements emphasise the importance of increased clarity and delegation of decision making to children's homes staff, so that they are able to offer children more personal support. Further information on related elements of the wider revisions to the legal framework for looked after children can be found online.
When considering residential care for a child, local authorities should refer to each home’s Statement of Purpose to establish that the ethos of the home offers a good match so that the home has the capacity and skills to respond fully to the child’s needs.
The Children's Homes Regulations 2001 have been amended by the Children’s Homes (Amendment) Regulations 2011. The version available from this page clearly shows the amendments to the 2001 regulations. These Regulations make provision about the way in which children’s homes are managed so that they offer children reliable, safe and stable care.
Regulations about behaviour management, discipline and restraint have been significantly amended.
This guidance contains the requirements set out by government to support local authorities, working with children’s homes providers in giving the best possible care and support to the children they look after. Guidance includes the core requirements that must be followed by those commissioning and providing children’s homes so that they can deliver a responsive service that offers consistent, good quality care.
The national minimum standards are underpinned by the Children’s Homes Regulations 2001 as amended and by statutory guidance. Other legislation and guidance may also be relevant, for example, legislation concerning care planning for looked after children.
It is intended that the standards will be used, both by providers, and by Ofsted, to focus on securing positive welfare, health and education outcomes for children. All providers and staff of children’s homes should aim to provide the best care possible for the children for whom they are responsible, and observing the standards is an essential part, but only a part, of the overall responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of each individual child.
Statutory guidance on the Children's Homes Regulations 2001 (amended).