New regulations on the running of children’s homes have now been
finalised, and will come into force on 1 April 2002. The
regulations are made under the Care Standards Act 2000 and apply to
England only. They replace the Children’s Homes Regulations 1991,
which were made under the Children Act 1989.
Regulation 3 excludes certain establishments from the definition
of a children’s home, including those providing short-term
overnight care, holidays, or other activities for less than 28 days
a year in relation to any one child, and a range of establishments
providing accommodation for those aged 16 or over, unless they
accommodate disabled children. Further education colleges and
establishments for young offenders are also excluded.
Regulation 4 requires each home to have a statement of purpose
consisting of the matters set out in Schedule 1, and a children’s
guide to the home. The home must be carried on in a manner which is
consistent with the statement of purpose.
Regulations 6 to 10 make provision about the persons carrying on
and managing the home, and require satisfactory information to be
available in relation to the matters prescribed in Schedule 2.
Where the provider is an organisation, it must nominate a
responsible individual in respect of whom this information must be
available. Regulation 7 prescribes the circumstances where a
manager must be appointed for the home, and regulation 9 imposes
general requirements in relation to the proper conduct of the home,
and the need for appropriate training.
Part III makes provision about the conduct of children’s homes,
in particular, as to child protection, welfare, health, education
and religious observance, arrangements for contact and visitors,
the management of behaviour and the use of surveillance devices.
Provision is also made about the staffing of homes, the fitness of
workers, complaints and record keeping.
Part IV makes provision about the suitability of premises, and
the fire precautions to be taken. Part V deals with the management
of children’s homes, including requirements on visiting the home,
monitoring the quality of care provided by the home and financial
arrangements. Part VI deals with miscellaneous matters including
the giving of notices to the National Care Standards Commission and
the handling of offences.
No prosecution may be brought unless the commission has first
given the registered person a notice which sets out in what respect
it is alleged he/she is not complying with a regulation, and what
action the commission considers is necessary for him to take in
order to comply. The notice must specify a time period for
compliance, not exceeding three months.
White and Sherwin solicitors