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Careful Reflection By Providers And Managers Needed Following Ofsted Responses Re Multihomes

Careful reflection by providers and managers needed following Ofsted responses re Multihomes

Evaluation

Responses to most enquiries show the guidance is under development with responsibility passed to providers, to be clarified by events and through inspection.

Responses to 2 enquiries are drawn to readers attention. These are in red below. One contradicts other responses. The other makes it clear that it is the performance of the provider and Registered Manager and not the clarity of the policy that are to be tested.

The responses are such that careful reflection is needed in the investment of funds and careers in such new ventures.

Planning

Responsibility passed to providers and to be clarified by events.

Responsibility passed to providers and to be clarified by events. The response includes no recognition of the planning issues affecting the setting up of children’s homes. A consultation would have raised these issues, and involved directly the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. With the stated intention being to increase the numbers of children’s homes this is an important measure that is currently unaddressed.

Regulation 44

Regulation 44 responsibility is passed to providers and to be clarified by events. With no diminution of requirements of the Regulation, and three reports necessary there is a cost attached.

Staffing

Responsibility passed to providers and to be clarified by events. The references to other settings do not relate to the matter being raised.

One registration count as one or several moves?

Responsibility passed to providers and to be clarified by events

An important clarification as it reads as though Ofsted were not the change agent in this new guidance.

Problematic. “As the system for collating data operated by the DfE is based on one URN, this means that if a child moves within the registration, it will not be recorded as a move, which we agree could be misleading.” It was not “developed to enable multiple moves” yet providers and local authorities have stated this is their view with a view to the homes providing crisis intervention, assessment, transition, moving on functions.

Watch this space: “We intend to brief Independent Reviewing Officers on this new model and what they should be alert to when chairing statutory review.”

This model does not match the trajectory of Staying Close, and if used as above it will not provide the opportunity for relationships to be created.

Will moves between homes be taken into account regarding stability?

Responsibility passed to providers and to be clarified by events

Linking to above – what does “unnecessary moves within the home” mean in practice?

Will moving internally in a multi-home require referral, matching, impact risk assessments?

A much stronger response recognising the concern and to be very clear line of enquiry on inspection.

This is a big consideration to be thought through by providers thinking of opening such a home, and by RMs and IROs in their work.

Consideration regarding retention?

Responsibility passed to providers and to be clarified by events and likely to affect Leadership evaluations.

Currently in a multi-home under one registration model as a Residential Special School inspectors look for each home to be staffed properly, i.e. no more than 50% agency in each house with the whole ‘home’ rather than considering 50% over whole site. Will this be the case for the multi homes?

Positive use of agency creating opportunity is appreciated.

Use of agency has had effects on inspection outcomes.

A consultation would have raised the issue of levels of agency staff. Ofsted are signalling this to the legislators in their response as follows: We are unable to impose a requirement for one remit (residential special schools) onto another remit, children’s homes”.

Multiple homes could be multiple sites separated by some distance (with the requirement of separate location assessments). What distance? Same village/town/city/county?

Responsibility passed to providers and to be clarified by events i.e. definition in practice of ‘sufficient proximity’ and Ofsted will ‘decide if this is workable’.

If the multi home has differing needs in houses will there be the need for individual statements of purpose, and individual appropriateness and suitability of location assessments made bespoke to the needs of the home and children?

This response does not match others. The response contradicts others. Guidance is needed to clarify.

The home must have one statement of purpose that clearly sets out how this multi-building will operate as a single children’s home. This must set out how each building will be used and how many children will live in each building. The home must have one children’s guide. This must provide children with enough information so that they can understand that the home is made up of more than one building and in which one they will live. There must be a bespoke location assessment for each building, which meets regulation and has strategies to mitigate any identified risk.

Mobile provision.

No return. This is clear.

Heightened entry requirements to be a Registered Manager?

It is interesting that the response is not to the question asked. The response recognises the unresolved concerns about this development. “The manager must demonstrate throughout the registration process that they have the knowledge, skills, and experience to manage the home across the 4 buildings”

 

 

 

 

 

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