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Kara Swift
Kara Swift
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New proposals to share information on children’s homes between government agencies

Date:29 NOV 2012

OfstedPlans to allow Ofsted to share the names and addresses of children's homes with the police and other agencies have been launched today.

Children's minister Edward Timpson published consultation proposals to allow Ofsted to share the names and addresses of children's homes on their register with the police, the Department for Education and the Office of the Children's Commissioner. The proposals would be implemented by amending Regulation 7 of the Care Standards Act 2000 (Registration) (England) Regulations 2010.

Outlining the plans the Minister said: "There's a clear need for the police, local authorities and Ofsted to work in a different, ‘smarter' way to tackle the ever changing challenge of protecting our most vulnerable children.

"Local police forces have argued for many years that in order to best serve and protect these children they need to know where they live. Our proposals simply reflect a common sense approach."

 Ofsted already share their register of the names and addresses of children's homes with local authorities on a monthly basis but the current rules do not allow them to share this register on a regular basis with the police. The plans will allow local polices forces to:

  • work more proactively to protect the welfare of children living in children's homes in their area;
  • prevent offenders targeting children living in children's homes; and,
  • help police to protect children missing from care from harm.

To safeguard children's data, a joint protocol will be developed with Ofsted, the Association of Chief Police Officers, CEOP and others setting out the rules around how information will be shared, by whom, and when.

The consultation will be open from 29th November and end on the 10th January 2013.