This pack presents data about children’s homes in England. It provides information on the children in the homes, the homes and their quality, their location and ownership, their cost, and the children’s homes market. The Government believes that transparency is an essential tool in driving up quality and much of this information is being published for the first time.
Children’s homes fulfil a number of purposes and cater for a range of children’s needs, from late entrant adolescents with challenging behaviour, who have spent long periods of time out of school and may quickly return to their family, to young people at risk of CSE (child sexual exploitation), children and teenagers with complex mental health problems, and respite provision for disabled children.
Provision is mixed between local authority-owned homes, and homes owned by the private and voluntary sector; most local authorities (LAs) make use of both. There are a variety of private provider ownership structures, including private equity and venture capital, family-owned companies and individual social entrepreneurs.
For the first time (2013), we are publishing the inspection judgements awarded to the homes of the largest private providers. We also present a comparison of the inspection judgements of LA-owned and privately owned homes, which suggests little difference in quality. Costs in both are high relative to alternatives (e.g. fostering).
The 2013 data shows where there is under-supply and over-supply of places in local areas; and how LAs vary in their use both of out-of-area placements, and placements far from a child’s home. These may be in the interests of the child; but they may also increase risk.
The data in this pack poses challenges for local and national government and all providers of children’s homes. More data, and further analysis, will be published in future as it becomes available. The government is working with Ofsted, LAs and providers to improve the market, match local supply with demand and understand better how cost and quality affect individual children’s outcomes.
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Please note that the file “Underlying LA data table: September 2013” was updated on 13 September 2013 to provide additional data which had been missing and to make some small revisions to some of the figures which were published. All changes made were to the column for “local authority provision” under “spend on residential care, per child per week in year ending 31 March 2012.
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