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

21. Agencies where there is no registered manager

What must happen where there is no registered manager.

The Care Standards Act 2000 requires any person who carries on or manages an independent fostering agency to be registered with Ofsted. It is a criminal offence to operate or manage an independent fostering agency without registering with Ofsted (Section 11 of the Care Standards Act 2000).

The Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011 (regulation 38) require the provider to notify Ofsted if the manager is to be absent for 28 days or more, or if they leave. Providers must do this at least 1 month before a known absence of the manager and, in an emergency, within 1 week of the absence.

Any failures to either notify Ofsted of the absence or change of a manager or a failure to put in place satisfactory management arrangements will be taken into account when planning and undertaking inspections. For more information, see: Changes to children’s social care services that are registered and/or inspected by Ofsted (2015).

Actions to be taken may include, but are not limited to, bringing the date of the inspection forward and using this information to inform our judgement about the leadership and management of the agency. If a provider fails to notify Ofsted of a change of manager, this may also influence our assessment of their fitness to manage. For more information about what regulatory action Ofsted can take, please refer to Ofsted’s Social care compliance handbook (2015).