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Ofsted Replies To Questions From Providers And Local Authorities About Multi Homes Guidance

Ofsted replies to questions from providers and local authorities about Multi homes guidance

As part of its information service regarding RCC NCERCC undertook to ask the following questions, and any others that may be forthcoming, on behalf of providers and the wider social care/work sector and to publish the responses/.

There was no public consultation prior to the publication and commencement of this guidance. Along with sounding the sector views consultation often enables scrutiny and resolution of any concerns. Many questions are continuing to be raised.

Here are the questions that you raised.

The Ofsted replies are in the document download (See end of this blog)

  • What guidance is being issued to planning authorities?

Multiple homes will require multiple planning applications, and given that there are frequent refusals there can be additional costs of repeat applications.

  • Will there be changes to the Regulation 44 requirements?

Multiple homes will require multiple Regulation 44 reports. Regulation 44 colleagues who undertake this work have advised us that they see it as three or more reports and will put up costs for providers, at a time when the challenge is to reduce costs.

  • Staffing – will staff be building-centric or multi-home based?

Is staffing for multi homes being seen as a flexible ‘human resource’? A staff pool? A staff group? A pool or a group is not a team. Will staff on a zero hours deployment to a home be expected to create and sustain the relationships with children that the Care Review suggests may be lacking but which all in the sector know and have known for years is an essential component of successful care and outcomes for children? Zero hours suggests zero relationships.

  • From local authorities. Will moving between the multiple homes of the one registration count as 1 or several moves?

From your letter it looks as though it will be several.

  • From providers. Will moves between homes be taken into account regarding stability?

From your letter is looks as though this is the case.

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

From your letter this looks to be the case. Media statements recently have seen it as enabling quick moving between the constituent homes. 

  • Will there be expected continuity of relationships?

Children need stability, and this comes from the continuity of those caring for them, without this then those other (practical) functions become secondary.

  • Will there be a consideration regarding retention?

Retention issues are created when you have groups not teams. There is not the same commitment to each other and children.

  • 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?
  • Multiple homes could be multiple sites separated by some distance (with the requirement of separate location assessments). What distance? Same village/town/city/county?
  • 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?
  • The guidance seems to describe models similar to mobile provision. Is this being reviewed by Ofsted?

From your letter it appears not.

  • Will there be heightened entry requirements to be a Registered Manager?

It seems necessary and will heighten not solve the accepted crisis of the shortage of suitably qualified Registered Managers.

NCERCC Ofsted replies to about Multi homes guidance[3]