Study finds most adult placement carers are unregistered

    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

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