Children's homes open at fastest rate in five years

By Tristan Donovan

| 31 August 2017

Children's homes are opening at the fastest rate in five years, figures from Ofsted reveal.

There are now 2,145 homes operating in England.

The inspectorate's annual children's social care statistics show that at 31 March 2017 there were 2,145 homes operating in England. This marks a four per cent increase on the previous year's 2,071.

However, the number of registered places in children's homes barely changed, increasing from 11,639 to 11,664 - a rise of less than one per cent.

The figures also show that the proportion of children's homes being run by local authorities is continuing to decline. In 2013 local authorities ran just over a quarter of children's homes (26 per cent) but this has now shrunk to a fifth (20 per cent). Private sector organisations run 72 per cent of all children's homes, the remaining eight per cent are operated by the voluntary sector.

Ofsted reported that 82 per cent of the children's homes it inspected in the year to 31 March 2017 were rated "good" or "outstanding", compared with 79 per cent the year before.

Local authority children's homes achieved the highest percentage of good or better homes at 85 per cent followed by the voluntary sector (83 per cent) and the private sector (80 per cent).

The statistics also collated the results of Ofsted's 127 inspections of local authority children's services in the year to 30 April 2017. Ofsted said the number of councils rated good during 2016/17 represented an increase on the year before.

Ofsted also noted that, contrary to expectations, local authorities rated good or outstanding were more likely to experience increased social worker turnover following their inspection, while inadequate-rated councils were more likely to see reduced turnover.

blog comments powered by Disqus