Opening a Children’s Residential Home

Setting up a Children's Residential Home?

Whilst incredibly rewarding, setting up and running a residential children’s home can be a time consuming and costly endeavour, so we strongly advise getting expert advice right from the outset.

The Independent Children’s Home Association (ICHA) is an excellent starting point for anyone looking to learn more about the sector and is interested in opening up a children’s home. It’s important to know that all children’s homes must register with Ofsted under the Care Standards Act 2000 and that it is an offence to run one without the appropriate registration.

How can Changing Outcomes help?

At Changing Outcomes we offer an initial viability assessment, during which we explain each step of the process for opening a registered children’s home. This includes:

  • Assessing the need for the service and how to complete your market research
  • The importance of a thorough business plan and what this needs to include
  • Completing an individually tailored cash flow forecast. Helping you to understand the costs associated with opening the home and maintaining a financially viable business
  • Considering your category of registration - who you propose to look after (age, gender, needs); what services you want to provide (care, therapy/counselling, and education); and relevant models to underpin practice
  • Planning Permission or a Lawful Development Certificate
  • Understanding property requirements in respect of space, room layout, health and safety, decoration, furnishings, and insurance
  • Considering benefits and issues with location - talking through the requirements for assessing location suitability regarding access to local services and effectively safeguarding children and young people
  • Registering as a limited company
  • Understanding the requirements for your Statement of Purpose, Children and Young People’s Guide, Safeguarding Policy, Missing Child Policy, Behaviour Management Policy (including restraint), Prevention of Bullying Policy, Complaints Procedure, and Equalities Policy
  • Your SC1 application, your SC2 application, fit person’s questionnaires, financial references, and health declarations
  • Considering processes for safer recruitment of Registered Manager, Responsible Individual, and Residential Care/ Support Workers
  • Considering staffing levels and rotas required at each stage of opening, and once fully up and running
  • Considering requirements for staff training and development


The aim of the viability assessment is for you to know the ins and outs of what’s required to set up and run a children’s home. Together, we can then decide whether or not Changing Outcomes is best placed to produce or review your documents prior to their submission to Ofsted. We are able to assist in providing job descriptions, person specifications, and interview questions for each role to be filled at the home. Changing Outcomes can lead in shortlisting and interviewing candidates, as well as ensure safer recruitment checks are compliant with requirements. If deemed helpful, we can also conduct ‘mock fit persons interviews’ to help your manager prepare for the next stage of the application process.

Following a discussion with your appointed Manager and Responsible Individual we can provide further services, such as producing additional policies and procedures, creating forms for your online recording system, and designing a staff training and appraisal programme.

Useful Links

Let us help you achieve your goals