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10.1 Monitoring Quality


Contents

  1. Suitability of Premises
  2. Review of Quality of Care

    Appendix 1: Matters to be Monitored


1. Suitability of Premises

An annual review will be undertaken (in consultation with the police and any other relevant bodies) of the appropriateness and suitability of the location of the Home. The purpose of this review is to ensure that children and young people cared for in the Home are effectively safeguarded and able to access services as identified on their Care Plans/Placement Plans.

This location assessment will be kept under review and amended to take into account any new risks as these are identified.

Considerations to be taken into account in carrying out a location assessment may include:

  • Whether the location of the home influences the potential for an already vulnerable child to be a victim of crime, such as being targeted for sexual exploitation;
  • Whether there is a likelihood of children placed in the home becoming drawn into gang crime or anti-social behaviour in the local area;
  • The suitability of the local neighbourhood as a location to care for children who may have already been victims of abuse and neglect; and
  • Whether there are environmental factors that would represent a hazard to children, such as locations near level crossings or busy roads.
For detailed information on carrying out location assessments, see Children’s Homes Regulations Amendments 2014: Advice for Children’s Homes Providers on New Duties under Amendments to Regulations that came into Effect in January and April 2014.


2. Review of Quality of Care

The authority will arrange for all of its homes to receive monthly visits from an Independent Person. These visits are an on-going process that identifies where you are at any given point in time and provides a potential basis in moving forwards. This is only a small element of this process. The visits should usually be unannounced but can be announced if it is necessary to arrange to meet a particular person.

The independent person cannot be a person employed by the local authority in connection with the carrying on of social services functions relating to children. For more information on who can be appointed as an independent person, see Children’s Homes Regulations Amendments 2014: Advice for Children’s Homes Providers on New Duties under Amendments to Regulations that came into Effect in January and April 2014.

The visit will be for a minimum of one hour. The person should complete a written report of the visit. This may include recommendations for improvement with timescales.

The report should be shared with the Registered Manager, with the opportunity to make comment e.g. if there is disagreement with the comments and recommendations.

The report should be lodged with the home for the manager and staff to read and respond to.

A copy of this report is sent to the Regulatory Authority in the following month after the visit.

The independent person, when carrying out a visit, shall:

  • Interview, with their consent and in private, such of the children accommodated there, their parents, relatives and persons working at the children’s home as appears necessary in order to form an opinion as to whether:
    • Children accommodated at the children’s home are effectively safeguarded; and
    • The conduct of the children’s home promotes the wellbeing of the children accommodated there.
  • Inspect the premises of the children’s home, and such of the children’s home’s records, as the independent person requires (children’s case records may only be inspected with the consent of the child and the child’s placing authority).

This may include the following:

  1. Meet and talk to children and staff of the home to ascertain their views, comments and any complaints about the running of the home;
  2. Read the Daily Log, records of Restraints, Incidents, reports of Notifiable events;
  3. Checks of any disciplinary measures and use of restraint in the home;
  4. Read the records of Comments, Representations and Complaints and (Child Protection Referrals), commenting on the frequency and type made and whether they appear to have been dealt with adequately;
  5. Read and comment on the record of Children's and Staff Meetings, or other methods used by the manager to consult the children and staff, held in the home. The person should also check that staff supervision have taken place as required;
  6. Check on the physical condition and decoration of the home, including the children's bedrooms.


Appendix 1: Matters to be Monitored

Checklist: Use this list as a checklist - print this Chapter (print icon at the top of the screen) and use it as a checklist.

The following must be reviewed/undertaken every three months:

Caring for children

  1. Any safeguarding concerns or incidents in respect of a child accommodated at the children’s home and the measures taken by the persons working at the children’s home to respond effectively to these to ensure the safeguarding and welfare of the child;
  2. The arrangements for children coming to and leaving the children’s home;
  3. The arrangements for monitoring the quality of care provided by the children’s home’s, including the actions taken in response to recommendations made by the independent person or, as the case may be, the reasons why the registered person did not consider it appropriate or necessary to take any such actions;
  4. In respect of each child accommodated in the children’s home, compliance with the placing authority’s care plans and placement plans;
  5. The arrangements for:
    1. Consulting children about the quality of the children’s home’s care and for acting on the results of such consultation;
    2. Involving children in decisions about:
      1. Their own care; and
      2. The day to day running of the children’s home.
  6. Complaints in relation to the children’s home or children accommodated in it, including any actions taken in response to such complaints and how complaints were resolved;
  7. Notifications of the events listed in Schedule 5 (see Delegated Authorities and Notifications).

Education

  1. Where the children’s home is dually registered as a school, the effectiveness of the children’s home’s arrangements for education, including the educational outcomes of children accommodated at the children’s home;
  2.  Where the children’s home is not dually registered as a school, the effectiveness of the children’s home in promoting the educational attainment of children in its care and the quality of relationships between the children’s home and local schools.

Encouraging positive behaviour

  1. The arrangements for promoting and supporting the positive behaviour of children accommodated in the children’s home;
  2. The effectiveness of the children’s home’s approach to behavioural support, including arrangements for commissioning training for staff in behaviour management and restraint;
  3. The number of times that children accommodated at the children’s home are restrained and the steps taken by the children’s home to minimise the use of restraint;
  4. Whether there have been any occasions when children accommodated in the children’s home have been charged with a criminal offence.

Health

  1. The arrangements, if any, for commissioning therapeutic services appropriate to the needs of children accommodated by the children’s home and the effectiveness of any such arrangements in achieving health outcomes for the children accommodated by the children’s home;
  2. The arrangements for children to be provided with general medical practitioner and other primary health care services, including access to preventive and screening services in the local community;
  3. Details of children requiring accident and emergency treatment and other hospital services;
  4. Illnesses of children accommodated in the children’s home.

Health and safety

  1. Risk assessments for health and safety purposes and subsequent action taken;
  2. Fire drills and tests of alarms and of fire equipment.

Missing children

  1. The number of reports of children accommodated at the children’s home being absent without permission;
  2. The measures taken by staff:
    1. To prevent children from being absent from the children’s home without permission; and
    2. In response to a child being absent without permission from the children’s home.
  3. The effectiveness of arrangements agreed between the children’s home, local police and the local authority for responding to missing person incidents in relation to children accommodated at the children’s home.

Staffing matters

  1. The arrangements for the management and supervision of staff working at the children’s home, including duty rosters and staff deployment in relation to incidents at the children’s home;
  2. The arrangements for continuing professional development, recruitment and training of staff working at the children’s home;
  3. Details of:
    1. Disciplinary action concerning persons working at the children’s home;
    2. Staff grievances.
  4. The reasons for staff ceasing employment at the children’s home.

Working with local services

  1. The arrangements for consultation with placing authorities, the local authority in whose area the children’s home is located and other community services used by children accommodated at the children’s home;
  2. The effectiveness of the children’s home’s guidance and procedures concerning police involvement in the children’s home.

On an annual basis, the managers must also review the Home's Statement of Purpose , and make necessary improvements, which should be approved by the Regulatory Authority.

End