Social care common inspection framework (SCCIF): independent fostering agencies

Guidance about how independent fostering agencies are inspected.

The SCCIF is for use from April 2018.

Our first principle of inspection is to focus on the things that matter most to children’s lives. The SCCIF is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ framework. The evaluation criteria are broadly consistent across the different types of children’s social care services but they reflect the unique nature of each type of service.

A pdf version of this guidance is available on request. Please contact us at

  1. 1. Introduction What the social care common inspection framework means.
  2. 2. The inspection principles Focusing on children, being consistent, and prioritising resources.
  3. 3. The focus of inspections Evaluating the impact of services on children and young people.
  4. 4. How inspectors make judgements under the SCCIF Information about the judgements.
  5. 5. Evaluation criteria The criteria that inspectors use to make judgements, including benchmarks of what good looks like.
  6. 6. Legal context Independent fostering agencies inspections and the law.
  7. 7. National minimum standards (NMS) How inspectors use the NMS.
  8. 8. Notice The length of notice given before an inspection and the information we request.
  9. 9. Scheduling and the inspection team How an inspection is scheduled and who makes up the team.
  10. 10. Timeframe Timeframe for an inspection from planning to publication of the report.
  11. 11. Preparing for an inspection What happens before an inspection.
  12. 12. The on-site inspection What happens during an inspection.
  13. 13. Making requirements and recommendations What inspectors must do when imposing requirements and making recommendations.
  14. 14. Inadequate judgements: next steps What happens following inadequate judgements, including urgent case reviews.
  15. 15. The inspection report What is in the report and how the inspector checks and submits it.
  16. 16. Conduct during inspection How inspectors and agencies should work together.
  17. 17. Concerns or complaints about an inspection How to raise a concern or complaint.
  18. 18. Monitoring visits Information about monitoring visits.
  19. 19. Agencies where there are no children placed with foster carers Information about inspecting agencies where no children are placed with foster carers.
  20. 20. Checks on responsible individuals The responsible individual must meet the requirements of regulation.
  21. 21. Agencies where there is no registered manager What must happen where there is no registered manager.
  22. 22. Incomplete inspections What should happen if an inspection can’t be finished.
  23. 23. Safeguarding and child protection concerns What an inspector must do if they have immediate concerns about a child protection issue.