DfE calls for evidence on care home workforce regulation

By Joanne Parkes

| 06 June 2019

A call for evidence on the children's homes workforce has today (Thursday) been launched by the Department for Education.

Children's minister Nadhim Zahawi is looking at strengthening measures to protect children in care

This follows a recommendation from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in April 2018, that the DfE establishes professional registration for people in care roles in children's homes. 

The inquiry said it was "very concerned" by the absence of professional registration for those working in care roles in children's homes in England.

It also conceded that any register may require a period of phasing in, and therefore said that professional registration of children's home managers should be prioritised.

The DfE announced it is gathering views on the recommendations and existing approaches to regulating the workforce.

Current regulations require that registered children's homes have an Ofsted-registered manager in place, must have policies and procedures in place to protect children, including appropriate recruitment practices, and all staff must have enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

Children's minister Nadhim Zahawi said: "Children's homes provide care and accommodation for some of our most vulnerable children in society, and it is vital that we ensure appropriate safeguards are in place to protect them from harm.
 
"There are robust recruitment processes in place to work in children's homes including enhanced DBS checks for all staff, and managers have to be registered with Ofsted, as well as passing an assessment on their fitness to practice.

"Ofsted has the powers to remove homes and managers from the register if standards are not met on inspection.
 
"While there are comprehensive measures in place to protect children, we will not be complacent, which is why we continue to work with the sector to see where these can be strengthened."

The DfE did not say whether the unregistered care home sector could be included in proposals.

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