Regulation 44 Visits /
Independent Visits

Changing Outcomes Regulation 44 / Independent Visits

In line with our mission statement, Regulation 44 / Independent Visits carried out by Changing Outcomes are designed to be both inspiring and supportive in nature, enabling our clients to establish and maintain outstanding levels of care.

All of our Independent Visitors (also known as Reg 44 Visitors) are required to successfully complete our application form and competency exercise prior to being able to go into children’s homes. Furthermore, all Reg 44 Visitors used by Changing Outcomes are subject to our rigorous safer recruitment checks.

In line with the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015, Regulation 44 Visits carried out by Changing Outcomes are designed to examine the extent to which the children’s home is effectively safeguarding their young people and promoting their well-being.  To help us achieve this, every calendar month our Reg 44 Visitors will visit the home in person and look to have conversations with the young people, their relatives, the staff team, and the child’s wider network.

Changing Outcomes’ Reg 44 reports cover all of the quality standards and individual case records are examined in conjunction with the home’s wider documentation. Our Reg 44 visitors look to triangulate information before arriving at an opinion and strive to be the homes critical friend.

To help us keep adding value to our clients, our Reg 44 reports cover a monthly theme. The theme is often driven by areas being focussed on by Ofsted and/or changes in legislation. Children’s Home providers have fed back that they have found this feature invaluable and that the recommendations and suggestions made on a monthly basis, have helped them to improve their service.

We have a quality assurance process to help ensure the high standard of our Reg 44 reports and our clients receive them for a factual accuracy check before they are sent out to Ofsted. There is a comments box for the Registered Manager and the Responsible Individual too, which helps to facilitate positive ongoing dialogue.

The Role of the Regulation 44 / Independent Visitor

The Children’s Homes (England 2015) Regulations 2015, require providers to monitor and review their children’s homes in the following way:

Appointment of independent person

43.—(1) The registered provider must appoint, at the registered provider’s expense, a person (“the independent person”) to visit and report on the children’s home carried on by the registered provider.

(2) If the registered provider carries on more than one home, the registered provider may appoint the same person as the independent person for all or any of those homes.

(3) Subject to paragraphs (4) and (5), the registered provider may not appoint the following as an independent person—

(a) if the registered provider is a local authority, a person who is employed by that local authority in connection with the carrying on of the authority’s social services functions (as defined by section 1A of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970(a)) relating to children;

(b) if the registered provider is not a local authority, a person who is employed for payment by the registered provider;

(c) a person involved in preparing the care plan of any child placed at the home, or a person responsible for managing or supervising that person;

(d) a person responsible for commissioning or financing services provided by the home;

(e) a person with a financial interest in the home;

(f) the responsible individual (if one is nominated); or

(g) a person who has, or has had, a connection with—

(i) the registered person;

(ii) a person working at the home; or

(iii) a child,

which the registered provider considers to give rise to doubts about that person’s impartiality (for the purposes of producing the independent person’s report – see regulation 44).

(4) An employee of the registered provider is not, by reason only of that employment, disqualified under paragraph (3)(a), (b) or (g) from appointment as an independent person if the employee is employed solely to examine and scrutinise critically—

(a) the way that a home is carried on or managed; and

(b) the quality of care provided for children.

(5) If the registered provider is a local authority, a person appointed by the authority as an independent reviewing officer is not, by reason only of that appointment, disqualified under paragraph (3)(a), (c) or (g) from appointment as an independent person in relation to a home carried on by that authority or any other authority.

(6) The independent person must declare any actual or potential conflict of interest (whether of the type mentioned in paragraph (3) or otherwise) to the registered provider without delay and, if reasonably practicable, before conducting a visit to the home.

(7) If the registered provider becomes aware of a potential conflict of interest in relation to the independent person before or during the independent person visiting the home (see regulation 44), the registered provider must— (a) make arrangements to cancel the visit without delay; and (b) appoint a different independent person to visit the home.

Independent person: visits and reports

44.—(1) The registered person must ensure that an independent person visits the children’s home at least once each month.

(2) When the independent person is carrying out a visit, the registered person must help the independent person—

(a) if they consent, to interview in private such of the children, their parents, relatives and persons working at the home as the independent person requires; and

(b) to inspect the premises of the home and such of the home’s records (except for a child’s case records, unless the child and the child’s placing authority consent) as the independent person requires.

(3) A visit by the independent person to the home may be unannounced.

(4) The independent person must produce a report about a visit (“the independent person’s report”) which sets out, in particular, the independent person’s opinion as to whether—

(a) children are effectively safeguarded; and

(b) the conduct of the home promotes children’s well-being.

(5) The independent person’s report may recommend actions that the registered person may take in relation to the home and timescales within which the registered person must consider whether or not to take those actions.

(6) If the independent person becomes aware of a potential conflict of interest (whether under regulation 43(3) or otherwise) after a visit to the home, the independent person must include in the independent person’s report—

(a) details of the conflict of interest; and

(b) the reasons why the independent person did not notify the registered provider of the conflict of interest before the visit.

(7) The independent person must provide a copy of the independent person’s report to—

(a) HMCI;

(b) upon request, the local authority for the area in which the home is located;

(c) the placing authorities of children;

(d) the registered provider and, if applicable, the registered manager; and

(e) the responsible individual (if one is nominated).

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