Social care common inspection framework (SCCIF): children’s homes, including secure children’s homes

6. Legal context

Children's homes inspections and the law.

Under the Education and Inspections Act 2006, Ofsted carries out its work in ways that encourage the services it inspects and regulates to:

  • improve
  • be user-focused
  • be efficient and effective in the use of resources

Section 5(1A) of the Care Standards Act 2000 provides that HMCI is the registration authority for children’s homes and other establishments and agencies to which Part 2 of that act applies.

The Care Standards Act 2000 sets out Ofsted’s powers to regulate, inspect and enforce compliance with the Act and relevant regulations. The Act also defines a children’s home (section 1).

When inspecting children’s homes, Ofsted considers the knowledge and understanding gained from previous inspections, and:

For full inspections of secure children’s homes, Ofsted will be assisted by an inspector from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in Ofsted’s evaluation of health services provided for children (authorised by HMCI under section 31 of the Care Standards Act 2000). For interim inspections of secure children’s homes, Ofsted may request the assistance of a CQC inspector if there are health related matters where the inspection would benefit from CQC’s input.

CQC is responsible for regulating registered healthcare providers. If providers fail to meet the requirements of the Act and its associated regulations, CQC can take enforcement action against the identified healthcare provider. Inspectors take into account the Act and its associated regulations: