Regulation 44 Visits / Independent Visits

Care Quality Support is able to support private and local authorities Children’s homes and young people 16-17 years Supported Accommodation across England. We offer a professional, effective and relaiable Independent Monitoring Service, also known as Regulation 44.

Our   Regulation 44 visits  for Ofsted registered Children's Homes and Supported Accommodation are carried out in line with our mission statement. They’re designed to be both inspiring and supportive in nature, enabling our clients to establish and maintain outstanding levels of care. Care Quality Support’s Regulation 44 reports cover all of the quality standards and individual case records are examined in conjunction with the home’s wider documentation. Our visitors will look to triangulate information before arriving at an opinion and strive to be the home’s critical friend.

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In England, the role of an Independent Visitor in the context of Regulation 44  (Reg 44) of the Children's Homes (England) Regulations 2015 is to visit, advise and monitor the children's home to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children residing there.

The Independent Visitor is required to visit the children's home at least once a month. During these visits, they should interact with the staff and children, inspect the premises, and review records and practices. They are expected to provide an unbiased, objective perspective on the home's operations and the quality of care provided.

The Independent Visitor must visit the children’s home once a month and should be supported by the registered person and/or other staff to conduct it thoroughly. Assistance may be needed for aspects such as interviewing consenting young people, parents, relatives, and employees of the home, as well as for inspecting the premises and the home’s records (excluding young child case records without consent).These visits may be unannounced.

Key responsibilities of the Independent Visitor include:

  1. Assessing the Home's Standards: The Independent Visitor assesses whether the home is meeting the Quality Standards set out in the regulations. These standards cover aspects such as the quality of care, protection of children, health and wellbeing, positive relationships, and leadership and management.

  2. Reporting: After each visit, the Independent Visitor must produce a report detailing their findings and any recommendations for improvement. This report should be provided to Ofsted, the local authority (if the home is maintained by a local authority), and the person carrying on or managing the home.

  3. Advocacy: The Independent Visitor acts as an advocate for the children in the home, ensuring their views and experiences are taken into account. They should speak with the children during their visits to understand their experiences and any concerns they may have.

  4. Monitoring: The Independent Visitor monitors the home's management and conduct. They should ensure that the home is being run in a way that respects the children's dignity and independence, and promotes their emotional and physical wellbeing.

  5. Advising: The Independent Visitor advises the home on best practices and any changes that may be needed to improve the quality of care. They should use their expertise and knowledge to guide the home's management and staff.

After the visit, the Independent Person must produce a report that sets out their opinion as to whether the young people are effectively safeguarded and if the conduct of the home promotes the children’s wellbeing. The report can also recommend actions that the registered person can take in relation to the home and timescales within which they must decide to take these actions.

Once the independent person’s report is complete, the independent person must also provide a copy of the report to:

  • HMCI
  • Upon request, the local authority for the area in which the home is located.
  • The placing authorities of young people.
  • The registered provider and manager.
  • The responsible individual (if one is nominated).

The role of the Independent Visitor is crucial in maintaining high standards of care in children's homes and ensuring that the rights and welfare of the children are protected.

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The registered provider must appoint an Independent Person to visit and report on the children’s home at their own expense. The registered person is responsible for ensuring that the appointment of the independent person does not give rise to a conflict of interest that would, or appear to, compromise the person’s ability to reach a rigorous and impartial judgement of the quality of the home’s care.

The skills, experience, and professional background of the Regulation 44 visitor in undertaking work of a similar nature for example, is an important factor when assessing their ability to effectively make a rigorous and impartial judgement.

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Why Choose Care Quality Support?

We take every effort to ensure our Regulation 44 visitors have the skills and understanding to relate to young people within the home, assess all relevant information, and form an impartial judgement about the quality of the home’s care.

Our Reg 44 reports cover all of the quality standards, as well as a monthly theme. The theme is often driven by changes in legislation and/or areas that are being focussed on by Ofsted and is a feature which our children’s home providers find invaluable.

Each of our clients is looked after by our Chief Executive Officer who helps to ensure that all of our reports are of the highest quality, that visitors are appropriately matched to the needs of the home, and that cover is provided in emergencies / when a change of visitor is deemed to be beneficial. We strive to have positive relationships and open dialogue with all of our children’s homes, and nothing gives us greater joy than watching them thrive.

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