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Children in Care

Volume 475: debated on Monday 12 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of children’s homes were assessed as providing inadequate provision in each year from 1996-97 to 2007-08; and if she will make a statement. (201141)

I have been asked to reply.

Since April 2007, children’s homes have been regulated by the Chief Inspector for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills; prior to that they were regulated by the Commission for Social Care Inspection. Data on the outcome of inspections of individual homes are not held centrally by this Department.

We recognise that standards need to improve and are taking a number of steps to improve provision in children’s homes. The Children and Young Persons Bill, currently before Parliament, includes provisions to strengthen the Chief Inspector’s powers to address poor performance. In addition, we are taking forward work, through the Children’s Workforce Development Council, to develop a framework of skills which all those caring for children in residential homes will be expected to demonstrate. We will also be piloting a social pedagogic approach in children’s homes, in order to support residential care staff in working more effectively with children in a group setting.