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

7. The regulations, the government guide and the SCCIF

How inspectors use the quality standards.

Children’s homes must meet the statutory requirements of the regulations. Where they do not, inspectors identify clearly what they must do in the form of setting requirements or through enforcement action.

The Department for Education (DfE) has published the ‘Guide to the children’s homes regulations, including the quality standards’ (‘the Guide’), which explains and supplements the regulations. Registered persons must have regard to the guide in interpreting and meeting the regulations. If providers do not take account of the guide, this may indicate a failure to meet the regulations. Inspectors consider carefully the impact on children and whether it should influence the judgements and outcome of the inspection, including any enforcement action.

A failure to meet a regulation does not automatically lead to a requires improvement judgement. Requirements may still be made where providers are judged to be good.

In addition to the quality standards, there are management and administrative regulations that we also take into account when making judgements, taking statutory enforcement action and setting requirements: the Children’s homes (England) regulations 2015.

We use recommendations to indicate where practice can improve. These are always related to the Guide.

Secure children’s homes must also comply with mandatory measures imposed by criminal justice legislation such as sentence planning requirements for children under the supervision of youth justice services. They may also have additional conditions imposed by the DfE as part of their approval as a secure home.