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EHP Children's Homes (Consultancy) have an in-depth knowledge of these often complex legal requirements. Gained from over 20 years’ experience, we have a proven track record of opening and managing residential children’s homes that have the infrastructure and practice to maintain the highest of standards.

Specification for Residential Children’s Homes (Regulated)

All providers and managers of regulated children’s homes must register with Ofsted and meet a number of minimum legal requirements. These must be met before Ofsted can approve you as a registered social care provider.
These and other documents set out the specific requirements your application will need to have in place before Ofsted can approve you as a registered social care provider.
EHP Children's Homes have an in-depth knowledge of these often complex legal requirements. We have a proven track record of opening and managing residential children’s homes that have the infrastructure and practice to maintain the highest of standards.

While the emphasis at this stage is on establishing the children's home as a business concern, we know that the motivation for providers is to deliver great outcomes for the children and young people themselves. 

We have developed the 10 stages of commissioning framework where we work in partnership with you, offering full support through each stage of the process and ultimately to post-registration and subsequent placement of your first child or young person.


The Consultancy Package

(Opening of a new Children's Home)

We offer a unique fixed fee consultancy package to support you, step-by-step, through the process of opening your children's home. Our emphasis is on a sustainable financial model and quality of care: both embedded within the infrastructure of the consultancy package.


Our consultancy is enhanced by the provision of significant managerial and leadership experience that includes human resources related advice and guidance relative to the process.


Note that our 10-stage framework is not necessarily undertaken in a linear way; this enables us to complete the process more quickly so that you can start to generate income at the earliest opportunity.


It is helpful to think of the process in two parts: the application (getting all your documentation ready, etc.) and registration (Ofsted inspection of your home, interviews, etc.). You cannot operate before both parts are completed.



Initial Briefing

We will bring to your attention relevant updated Ofsted publications and will summarise the application process in a more accessible handout.


We will comment on your proposed model for you to consider all options, e.g. group living, solo placements, etc.


We will bring to your attention the potential for Multi-Building Registration, e.g. you may wish to apply to register a children’s home where the care and accommodation is provided in more than one building.


We will conduct research to identify any specific local authority requirements relating to the planned location postcode.


We will agree a ‘roadmap’ for the process for registration, i.e. to drive the next priority as efficiently as possible.


We will provide guidance and support on the recruitment for roles of governance and management, with an emphasis on the recruitment of the Registered Manager. (The early recruitment of an experienced manager will be able to progress a significant amount of operational work during the application process, and in doing so, can be ready for their registration interview.)



Business Planning and Financial Viability


We will comment on the feasibility of your income forecast and bring to your attention any concerns: we advise on the model based on our extensive commercial knowledge of the sector.


Note that your business should be registered on the Companies House Register where required.

(A certificate of insurance [or written confirmation that insurance will be provided, for example, a letter of intent and an insurance quote] should be obtained by the organisation.)



Policies and Procedures

Consulting with the Provider/ Director/ Registered Manager, we will draft a Statement of Purpose and a Young Person’s Guide for your organisation. The quality of the Statement and Guide is taken into account by Ofsted when making a decision about fitness. 


We will consult with you to produce personalised versions of the other essential policies required for registration. These include:


  • Safeguarding;

  • Missing child;

  • Location risk assessment;

  • Behaviour management (including restraint);

  • Prevention of bullying;

  • Equalities;

  • Complaints.


We will also provide additional operational draft policies for E-Safety, Business continuity planning and Infection Control. (Further operational policies are additional to the Package but are available from EHP Children’s Homes.)


Many organisations fail by lacking embedded strategic thinking at this early stage, i.e. not being able to relate the home’s policies or procedures to their aspirational statements made during application. We will ensure your documentation and application are coherent, consistent and stand up to scrutiny.

Note, these are not blank templates (as offered by some consultancy firms) but up-to-date drafts that will be personalised to your service.


Recruitment and Registration


This includes guidance on the completion of the Declaration & Consent form and ‘Fit Person’ questionnaire, plus review and feedback of all completed documents including SC1 and SC2 application forms. It will also include a ‘mock’ Ofsted Registered Manager (registration) interview, feedback and coaching as required. (It is advised  that the Registered Manager’s initial contract includes a probation period and that confirmation of permanent employment is based upon the person’s approved registration.)


 Tendering (Local Authority)​

Although not technically part of the registration process, tendering will determine the success or otherwise of the business model. This includes establishing and maintaining a professional relationship with the various Local Authorities. The organisation must become a ‘preferred provider’ i.e. part of the framework for the Local Authorities placing children in your home(s). Failure to secure provision for each bed space not only results in loss of income but potentially higher than necessary staff costs.

This is a competitive marketplace. We will use our commercial knowledge to help you to maximise your placements (i.e. full bedspaces) to deliver your business plan.


(Tendering is not a 365-day opportunity as dates are determined by Local Authorities.)


 Referral Management


We will provide guidance for relationship management with the Local Authorities’ Placement and Commissioning teams. i.e. how to maximise your placement opportunities by gaining Local Authority confidence in your service.


Infrastructure (Systems and in-house guidelines)


We will provide templates for the systems that record, conduct and review risk assessments, staff recruitment, induction and training within the context of compliance.


Structural (Building Regulations)


We will provide comments on the building plans and/or physical building that relate to usage of the building, décor, furnishing and facilities (individual and shared) that meet Ofsted standards. This includes guidance on legal requirements regarding health, safety and security issues.


You will need to provide a Lawful Development Certificate, obtained from your local Planning Authority. We can advise on this as required.


(If applicable, you may need to provide any planning permission granted, or copies of planning application or evidence that planning permission is not required.)


Regulations/Standards and Compliance


The Regulations set out standards (“the Quality Standards”) that must be met by homes. The Quality Standards describe outcomes that each child/young person must be supported to achieve while living in the home. Each contains an over-arching, aspirational, child/young person-focused outcome statement, followed by a non-exhaustive set of underpinning, measurable requirements that homes must achieve in meeting each standard. These are:


1. The quality and purpose of care standard; 

2. The children’s views, wishes and feelings standard;

3. The education standard;

4. The enjoyment and achievement standard; 

5. The health and well-being standard;

6. The positive relationships standard; 

7. The protection of children standard;

8. The leadership and management standard;

9. The care planning standard.


We have a comprehensive understanding of legislative and regulatory compliance. Incorporated into our consultancy is compliance with the 9 Quality Standards that must be in place to meet Ofsted Regulations.


Additionally, advice and guidance on preparations for Children's Homes Regulation 44 visits.




Provision of information on all costs pertaining to the registration process for budgetary purposes.


This is not only helpful as being relative to the registration process but in decision making on the financial efficiency regarding the timing of significant costs, e.g. staff recruitment. For example, the timeline between the recruitment and training of staff being completed and the first bedspace being filled (income generating), being as short as possible.

EHP Children’s Homes (Consultancy) offers you the support and reassurance to complete your children's home registration with confidence. Please contact us for full costings.

After successful registration, there will of course be new challenges. For example, the period of time for the children or young people to feel settled, the process of development for the staff team, etc. EHP Children’s Homes (Consultancy) offers additional support of mentoring and/or supervision during a ‘bedding in’ period for directors and/or manager(s) following completion of the process: we have not only commissioned new homes but delivered support to those same homes in the immediate period leading up to the first Ofsted Inspection.
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