Children’s homes face higher costs for higher standards

Family|March 20th 2015

Residential children’s homes face higher running costs following the introduction of new quality standards next month.

Government inspectorate Osted will introduce stricter assessment criteria for care homes from 1 April. A rating of ‘adequate’ will no longer available. Instead, homes will be rated either ‘requires improvement’, ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’. In addition, a greater emphasis will be placed on the overall experiences of the resident children.

According to a new government study, adaption to the new inspection regime will cost the sector as much as £6.7 million. In addition, individual homes face additional running costs of around £84,000 per year, Children & Young People Now reports, with owners and operators required to undergo more stringent testing.

Financial benefits from the changes of an estimated £180,000 will be significantly outweighed by annual costs of £530,000 per home, the report reveals. Residential home staff will required to work with the children’s teachers, assist with homework and hobbies and provide social support. Residential homes as a whole will be required to show that that they are actively working to promote the wellbeing of the children living there . Such requirements will necessitate additional training for both staff and management, the redrafting operating policies and even the purchase of new furnishings in some cases.

Read the study here.

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