Less than a third of the 5,000 adult foster carers in England
were registered with regulators, new research reveals,
writes Derren Hayes.
The report by training body Topss England and the National
Association of Adult Placement Services found that only 1,597 adult
placement carers were registered with the National Care Standards
Commission before it was subsumed into the Commission for Social
Care Inspection in April.
The figures suggest the vast majority of carers for adults with a
learning or physical disability, mental health problem or
age-related condition were limiting their support to non-personal
care so they stayed outside the remit of the national minimum
standards. The regulations cover carers providing accommodation and
support and daytime or outreach support.
The report also reveals that 441 carers had cancelled their NCSC
registration in the previous 12 months, a third of which had left
local authority and independent run schemes altogether. This could
explain why carers were predominately self-employed.
New regulations currently being drawn up by the Department of
Health due for release this summer, plan to shift the focus of
registration and inspection from individual carers to the 115
scheme in the country, of which 86 per cent are council run.
Nearly three quarters of adult placement carers were women and 95
per cent aged over 35, while people with learning difficulties
comprised the largest service user group.
The findings confirmed previous anecdotal evidence that the burden
of regulation was leading to a loss of carers. A lack of training
for staff and carers also needs to be addressed, it found.
Adult Placement Counts available from 17 June at www.topssengland.net