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The Children’s Homes and Looked after Children (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) Regulations 2013

Date:2 JAN 2014

These Regulations may be cited as the Children’s Homes and Looked after Children (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) Regulations 2013 and, subject to paragraph (2), come into force on 27th January 2014

These Regulations amend the Children's Homes Regulations 2001 ("the CHR"), which provide for the regulation of children's homes, and the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 ("the CPPCRR"), which make provision about care planning for looked after children (i.e. children who are looked after by a local authority ("LA"), whether or not they are in the care of the LA by virtue of a care order). They also amend the Care Standards Act 2000 (Registration) (England) Regulations 2010 ("the Registration Regulations"), which make provision with respect to the registration of establishments and agencies under Part 2 of the Care Standards Act 2000, and the Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011 ("the FSR"), which provide a regulatory framework for fostering service providers and make provision about matters including the approval of foster parents by fostering service providers.

Part 2 sets out amendments to the CHR. They define the qualifications that managers of children's homes and persons working in care roles in children's homes must have and set out the date by which they must attain or hold these qualifications. They require the registered person to notify the LA when a child is admitted to or discharged from a children's home and set out the information that the notice must contain. They amend the requirements for children's homes to have a policy regarding missing children and provide for consultation with local services before implementing that policy. They amend the provisions with respect to the suitability of the location of premises used for the purposes of a children's home and provide for an annual risk assessment in relation to the location of those premises. They provide for visits to, and reporting on, the children's home by an independent person and the appointment of the independent person. They amend the matters to be included in a children's home's statement of purpose and the matters to be monitored and reported on by the registered person.

Part 3 sets out the amendments to the CPPCRR. They insert a new definition of a placement of a looked after child "at a distance", that is the placement of that child outside both the area of the LA looking after him, and the area of any adjoining LA. They require that the decision to put a child in such a placement is approved by the LA's director of children's services. They insert consultation and notification requirements in relation to such placements.

They also amend the CPPCRR to require that the LA holds a review of a child's case whenever a child has been persistently absent from a placement, or where there are concerns that the child may be at risk of harm. They insert a provision into the CPPCRR requiring that where a child aged 16 or 17 is looked after other than by virtue of a care order, the decision of the LA to cease looking after the child must be approved by their director of children's services. They require that in any case where there are child protection concerns relating to a child, or the child has gone missing from a placement, the child's care plan must record the day to day arrangements put in place to keep the child safe.

Part 4 deals with amendments to the Registration Regulations and the FSR.

An impact assessment of the effect that these Regulations will have on the costs of business and the voluntary sector is annexed to the Explanatory Memorandum which is available alongside these Regulations at www.legislation.gov.uk.