Sector prepares for new registration and inspection system for supported accommodation

As the Government publishes its response to a consultation on reforms to supported accommodation for 16 and 17-year-olds in care and leaving care, NCB has launched a new website as part of a programme to help providers and local authority commissioners prepare for the new ways of working.

Supported accommodation is a form of accommodation outside of regulated children’s homes, kinship care and foster care, which provides supported, semi-independent living for 16 and 17-year-olds who are ready to start living with more independence.

From October 2023, all providers of supported accommodation will be required to adhere to mandatory national quality standards which will be overseen by Ofsted-led registration and inspection.

As part of this work, NCB has been appointed by DfE to deliver the Sector Awareness and Provider Preparedness programme which is supporting the sector to prepare for the introduction of the new quality standards, registration and regulation system.

NCB’s role will focus on raising sector awareness about the new requirements and helping providers prepare for the new system of oversight. Ultimately, the programme’s aim is to enable providers to ensure that young people living in supported accommodation develop trusted relationships and experience high-quality support in nurturing environments that prepare them for adult life.

Our new website showcases a wide range of different engagement, learning and development opportunities we will be offering in partnership with the Department for Education and Ofsted. These include:

  • National conferences early in the registration period (recorded and shared via our programme website for anyone unable to attend in person).
  • Virtual communities of practice for both local authority commissioners and providers of supported accommodation.
  • Sector-wide mapping of approaches to decision-making, placement pathways, and needs assessments to identify and share good practice.
  • A workforce development programme tailored to the needs of the provider workforce building on the quality standards (e.g. trauma-informed practice).
  • Tools and resources developed with care-experienced young people and providers.

<<< Find out more on the SA&PP part of our website here. >>>

With the Government introducing new regulations and standards designed to improve the quality of supported accommodation for 16 and 17-year-olds in care and leaving care, it is important that those providing this accommodation are effectively prepared to register under the new regime and to implement the new ways of working.

The National Children’s Bureau is undertaking a range of activity on behalf of DfE to prepare the supported accommodation sector for this journey, and we will be working with young people in care and care leavers to ensure their voices and experiences are embedded at both programme and local levels.

Anna Feuchtwang

Chief Executive of NCB