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The Demand for Children’s Homes

EHP Children‘s Homes Consultancy


Portfolio for legislative and regulatory compliance, commercial knowledge, operational and strategic governance & management in children & social care UK


The Demand for Children’s Homes


The Observer reports hundreds of vulnerable children in England are being placed in illegal, unregulated homes because of a chronic shortage of placements.


This is of course an offence under the Care Standards Act 2000 to operate a children’shome without an Ofsted registration, which the watchdog says prevents unsuitable people from owning, managing or working in homes. New figures, compiled by the Observer and the charity Together Trust, show a 277% rise in numbers placed in

illegal children’s homes in England between 2020 and 2023.


Ofsted did not prosecute a single provider in 2022-23, despite launching 845investigations into suspected illegal children’s homes. They stated that it needed new powers to take action against illegal providers, as it remained concerned that children were “at risk of harm” in unregistered homes. “The government promised additional powers in 2021 that would enable us to take action against illegal providers more quickly – these powers are urgently needed in the interests of children,” said a spokesperson.


Even with additional powers, this will not solve the problem: It’s not the providers that place children - it’s the local authorities - and they appear to have increasingly fewer options.



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