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.