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The Children’s Homes Regulations 2001

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CHAPTER 1Welfare of Children

Promotion of welfare

11.  (1)  The registered person shall ensure that the children’s home is conducted so as to—

(a)promote and make proper provision for the welfare of children accommodated there; and

(b)make proper provision for the care, education, supervision and, where appropriate, treatment, of children accommodated there.

(2) The registered person shall make suitable arrangements to ensure that the home is conducted—

(a)in a manner which respects the privacy and dignity of children accommodated there; and

(b)with due regard to the sex, religious persuasion, racial origin, and cultural and linguistic background and any disability of children accommodated there.

Child’s placement plan

12.  (1)  The registered person shall, before providing accommodation for a child in a children’s home, or if that is not reasonably practicable, as soon as possible thereafter, prepare in consultation with the child’s placing authority a written plan (in these Regulations referred to as the “placement plan”) for the child setting out, in particular—

(a)how, on a day to day basis, he will be cared for, and his welfare safeguarded and promoted by the home;

(b)the arrangements made for his health care and education; and

(c)any arrangements made for contact with his parents, relatives and friends.

(2) The registered person shall keep under review and revise the placement plan as necessary.

(3) In preparing or reviewing the placement plan the registered person shall, so far as practicable having regard to the child’s age and understanding, seek and take account of his views.

(4) The registered person shall so far as is reasonably practicable—

(a)ensure that the placement plan is consistent with any plan for the care of the child prepared by his placing authority; and

(b)comply with requests made by the child’s placing authority to—

(i)provide it with information relating to the child; and

(ii)provide a suitable representative to attend any meetings it may hold concerning the child.

Food provided for children

13.  (1)  The registered person shall ensure that children accommodated in a children’s home are provided with—

(a)food which—

(i)is served in adequate quantities and at appropriate intervals;

(ii)is properly prepared, wholesome and nutritious;

(iii)is suitable for their needs and meets their reasonable preferences; and

(iv)is sufficiently varied; and

(b)access to fresh drinking water at all times.

(2) The registered person shall ensure that any special dietary need of a child accommodated in the home, which is due to his health, religious persuasion, racial origin or cultural background, is met.

Provision of clothing, pocket money and personal necessities

14.  (1)  The registered person shall ensure that the needs and reasonable preferences of each child accommodated in the home for clothing including footwear, and personal necessities are met.

(2) The registered person shall provide children accommodated in the home with such sums of money in respect of their occasional personal expenses as is appropriate to their age and understanding.

Contact and access to communications

15.  (1)  The registered person shall—

(a)subject to paragraphs (6) and (8), promote the contact of each child with his parents, relatives and friends in accordance with the arrangements set out in his placement plan; and

(b)subject to paragraph (3), ensure that suitable facilities are provided within the children’s home for any child accommodated there to meet privately at any reasonable time with his parents, relatives and friends, and the persons listed in paragraph (2).

(2) The persons are—

(a)any solicitor or other adviser or advocate acting for the child;

(b)any officer of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service(1) appointed for him;

(c)any social worker for the time being assigned to the child by his placing authority;

(d)any person appointed in respect of any requirement of the procedure specified in the Representations Procedure (Children) Regulations 1991(2);

(e)any person appointed as a visitor for him in accordance with paragraph 17 of Schedule 2 to the 1989 Act;

(f)any person authorised by the Commission;

(g)any person authorised by the local authority in whose area the children’s home is situated;

(h)any person authorised in accordance with section 80(2) of the 1989 Act by the Secretary of State to conduct an inspection of the children’s home and the children there.

(3) In the case of a home in respect of which a certificate under section 51 of the 1989 Act is in force, the facilities may be at a different address.

(4) Subject to paragraphs (6) and (8), the registered person shall ensure that children accommodated in the home are provided at all reasonable times with access to the following facilities which they may use without reference to persons working in the home—

(a)a telephone on which to make and receive telephone calls in private; and

(b)facilities to send and receive post and, if the necessary facilities are provided for the use of children accommodated in the home, electronic mail, in private.

(5) The registered person shall ensure that any disabled child accommodated in the home is provided with access to such aids and equipment which he may require as a result of his disability in order to facilitate his communication with others.

(6) The registered person may (subject to paragraphs (7) and (8)) impose such restriction, prohibition or condition upon a child’s contact with any person under paragraph (1) or access to communications under paragraph (4) which he is satisfied is necessary for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the welfare of the child in question.

(7) No measure may be imposed by the registered person in accordance with paragraph (6) unless—

(a)the child’s placing authority consents to the imposition of the measure; or

(b)the measure is imposed in an emergency, and full details are given to the placing authority within 24 hours of its imposition.

(8) This regulation is subject to the provisions of any relevant order of the court relating to contact between the child and any person.

Arrangements for the protection of children

16.  (1)  The registered person shall prepare and implement a written policy which—

(a)is intended to safeguard children accommodated in the children’s home from abuse or neglect; and

(b)sets out the procedure to be followed in the event of any allegation of abuse or neglect.

(2) The procedure under paragraph (1)(b) shall in particular provide for—

(a)liaison and co-operation with any local authority which is, or may be, making child protection enquiries in relation to any child accommodated in the children’s home;

(b)the prompt referral to the local authority in whose area the children’s home is situated, of any allegation of abuse or neglect affecting any child accommodated in the children’s home;

(c)notification (in accordance with regulation 30) of the instigation and outcome of any child protection enquiries involving any child accommodated in the children’s home, to the Commission and the child’s placing authority;

(d)written records to be kept of any allegation of abuse or neglect, and of the action taken in response;

(e)consideration to be given to the measures which may be necessary to protect children in the children’s home following an allegation of abuse or neglect;

(f)a requirement for persons working at the home to report any concerns about the welfare or safety of a child accommodated there to one of the following—

(i)the registered person;

(ii)a police officer;

(iii)an officer of the Commission;

(iv)an officer of the local authority in whose area the home is situated, or

(v)an officer of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children;

(g)arrangements to be made for persons working at the home and children accommodated there, to have access at all times and in an appropriate form, to information which would enable them to contact the local authority in whose area the children’s home is situated, or the Commission, concerning the welfare or safety of children accommodated in the home.

(3) In this regulation “child protection enquiries” means any enquiries carried out by a local authority in the exercise of any of its functions conferred by or under the 1989 Act relating to the protection of children.

(4) The registered person shall prepare and implement as required—

(a)a written policy for the prevention of bullying in the children’s home, which shall in particular set out the procedure for dealing with an allegation of bullying; and

(b)a procedure to be followed when any child accommodated in a children’s home is absent without permission.

Behaviour management, discipline and restraint

17.  (1)  No measure of control, restraint or discipline which is excessive, unreasonable or contrary to paragraph (5) shall be used at any time on children accommodated in a children’s home.

(2) The registered person shall prepare and implement a written policy (in this regulation referred to as “the behaviour management policy”) which sets out—

(a)the measures of control, restraint and discipline which may be used in the children’s home; and

(b)the means whereby appropriate behaviour is to be promoted in the home.

(3) The registered person shall—

(a)keep under review and where appropriate revise the behaviour management policy; and

(b)notify the Commission of any such revision within 28 days.

(4) The registered person shall ensure that within 24 hours of the use of any measure of control, restraint or discipline in a children’s home, a written record is made in a volume kept for the purpose which shall include—

(a)the name of the child concerned;

(b)details of the child’s behaviour leading to the use of the measure;

(c)a description of the measure used;

(d)the date, time and location of, the use of the measure, and in the case of any form of restraint, the duration of the restraint;

(e)the name of the person using the measure, and of any other person present;

(f)the effectiveness and any consequences of the use of the measure; and

(g)the signature of a person authorised by the registered provider to make the record.

(5) Subject to paragraphs (6) and (7) of this regulation, the following shall not be used as disciplinary measures on children accommodated in a children’s home—

(a)any form of corporal punishment;

(b)any punishment relating to the consumption or deprivation of food or drink;

(c)any restriction, other than one imposed by a court or in accordance with regulation 15, on—

(i)a child’s contact with his parents, relatives or friends;

(ii)visits to him by his parents, relatives or friends;

(iii)a child’s communications with any of the persons listed in regulation 15(2); or

(iv)his access to any telephone helpline providing counselling for children;

(d)any requirement that a child wear distinctive or inappropriate clothes;

(e)the use or withholding of medication or medical or dental treatment;

(f)the intentional deprivation of sleep;

(g)the imposition of any financial penalty, other than a requirement for the payment of a reasonable sum (which may be by instalments) by way of reparation;

(h)any intimate physical examination of the child;

(i)the withholding of any aids or equipment needed by a disabled child;

(j)any measure which involves—

(i)any child in the imposition of any measure against any other child; or

(ii)the punishment of a group of children for the behaviour of an individual child.

(6) Nothing in this regulation shall prohibit—

(a)the taking of any action by, or in accordance with the instructions of, a registered medical practitioner or a registered dental practitioner which is necessary to protect the health of a child;

(b)the taking of any action immediately necessary to prevent injury to any person or serious damage to property; or

(c)the imposition of a requirement that a child wear distinctive clothing for sporting purposes, or for purposes connected with his education or with any organisation whose members customarily wear uniform in connection with its activities.

Education, employment and leisure activity

18.  (1)  The registered person shall promote the educational attainment of children accommodated in a children’s home, in particular by ensuring that—

(a)the children make use of educational facilities appropriate to their age, aptitude, needs, interests and potential;

(b)the routine of the home is organised so as to further children’s participation in education, including private study; and

(c)effective links are maintained with any schools attended by children accommodated in the home.

(2) The registered person shall ensure that children accommodated in the home are—

(a)encouraged to develop and pursue appropriate leisure interests; and

(b)provided with appropriate leisure facilities and activities.

(3) Where any child in a children’s home has attained the age where he is no longer required to receive compulsory full-time education, the registered person shall assist with the making of, and give effect to, the arrangements made for his education, training and employment.

Religious observance

19.  The registered person shall ensure that each child accommodated in a children’s home is enabled, so far as practicable—

(a)to attend the services of;

(b)to receive instruction in; and

(c)to observe any requirement (whether as to dress, diet or otherwise) of,

the religious persuasion to which he belongs.

Health needs of children

20.  (1)  The registered person shall promote and protect the health of the children accommodated in a children’s home.

(2) In particular the registered person shall ensure that—

(a)each child is registered with a general practitioner;

(b)each child has access to such medical, dental, nursing, psychological and psychiatric advice, treatment and other services, as he may require;

(c)each child is provided with such individual support, aids and equipment as he may require as a result of any particular health needs or disability he may have;

(d)each child is provided with guidance, support and advice on health and personal care issues appropriate to his needs and wishes;

(e)at all times, at least one person on duty at the children’s home has a suitable first aid qualification;

(f)any person appointed to the position of nurse at the children’s home is a registered nurse.

Medicines

21.  (1)  The registered person shall make suitable arrangements for the recording, handling, safekeeping, safe administration and disposal of any medicines received into the children’s home.

(2) In particular the registered person shall ensure, subject to paragraph (3), that—

(a)any medicine which is kept in a children’s home is stored in a secure place so as to prevent any child accommodated there having unsupervised access to it;

(b)any medicine which is prescribed for a child is administered as prescribed, to the child for whom it is prescribed, and to no other child; and

(c)a written record is kept of the administration of any medicine to any child.

(3) Paragraph (2) does not apply to a medicine which—

(a)is stored by the child for whom it is provided in such a way that others are prevented from using it; and

(b)may be safely self-administered by that child.

(4) In this regulation, “prescribed” means—

(a)ordered for a patient for provision to them—

(i)under or by virtue of the National Health Service Act 1977; or

(ii)as part of the performance of personal medical services in connection with a pilot scheme under the National Health Service (Primary Care) Act 1997; or

(b)in a case not falling within sub-paragraph (a), prescribed for a patient under section 58 of the Medicines Act 1968(3).

Use of surveillance

22.  Subject to any requirements for electronic monitoring imposed by a court under any enactment, the registered person shall ensure that electronic or mechanical monitoring devices for the surveillance of children are not used in a children’s home, except for the purpose of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the child concerned, or other children accommodated in the children’s home, and where the following conditions are met—

(a)the child’s placing authority consents to the use of the measure in question;

(b)it is provided for in the child’s placement plan;

(c)so far as practicable in the light of his age and understanding, the child in question is informed in advance of the intention to use the measure; and

(d)the measure is no more restrictive than necessary, having regard to the child’s need for privacy.

Hazards and safety

23.  The registered person shall ensure that—

(a)all parts of the home to which children have access are so far as reasonably practicable free from hazards to their safety;

(b)any activities in which children participate are so far as reasonably practicable free from avoidable risks;

(c)unnecessary risks to the health or safety of children accommodated in the home are identified and so far as possible eliminated,

and shall make suitable arrangements for persons working at the children’s home to be trained in first aid.

Complaints and representations

24.  (1)  Subject to paragraph (8), the registered person shall establish a written procedure for considering complaints made by or on behalf of children accommodated in the home.

(2) The procedure shall, in particular, provide—

(a)for an opportunity for informal resolution of the complaint at an early stage;

(b)that no person who is the subject of a complaint takes any part in its consideration other than, if the registered person considers it appropriate, at the informal resolution stage only;

(c)for dealing with complaints about the registered person;

(d)for complaints to be made by a person acting on behalf of a child;

(e)for arrangements for the procedure to be made known to—

(i)children accommodated in the home;

(ii)their parents;

(iii)placing authorities; and

(iv)persons working in the home.

(3) A copy of the procedure shall be supplied on request to any of the persons mentioned in paragraph (2)(e).

(4) The copy of the procedure supplied under paragraph (3) shall include—

(a)the name, address and telephone number of the Commission; and

(b)details of the procedure (if any) which has been notified to the registered person by the Commission for the making of complaints to it relating to children’s homes.

(5) The registered person shall ensure that a written record is made of any complaint, the action taken in response, and the outcome of the investigation.

(6) The registered person shall ensure that—

(a)children accommodated in the home are enabled to make a complaint or representation; and

(b)no child is subject to any reprisal for making a complaint or representation.

(7) The registered person shall supply to the Commission at its request a statement containing a summary of any complaints made during the preceding twelve months and the action that was taken.

(8) This regulation (apart from paragraph (6)) does not apply to any matter to which the Representations Procedure (Children) Regulations 1991(4) applies.

(1)

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) is established by Chapter II of Part I of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (c. 43). Officers of CAFCASS are appointed for children in specified proceedings (section 41 of the 1989 Act).

(2)

S.I.1991/894 as amended by S.I. 1991/2033, S.I. 1993/3069, and S.I. 2001/2874.

(3)

1968 c. 67. Section 58 has been amended by section 1 of the Medicinal Products: Prescription by Nurses etc. Act 1992 (c. 28).

(4)

See the footnote to regulation 15(2)(d).

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