Guidance and regulations
From 28 April 2023, Ofsted began registering supported accommodation providers.
Registration became mandatory from 28 October 2023. This means that any supported accommodation provider accommodating a looked after child or care leaver aged 16 or 17 must either be registered with Ofsted or have had an application accepted by Ofsted as complete before the 28 October 2023, or they will be committing an offence.
The new regulations, which became law in April 2023, include the introduction of new mandatory quality standards in supported accommodation and an inspection regime,
The measures are backed by DfE funding of £142m in funding over three years, including £17.2m to Ofsted and £123m towards local authorities.
Under the new regulations, providers are required to complete a review of the support they are offering young people every six months. This review must include the views and experiences young people living in the accommodation and should be used to ensure the accommodation meets the needs of everyone who lives there.
To support providers to meet the requirements, the Department for Education appointed the National Children’s Bureau to provide practical support and information targeted directly at providers and local authority commissioners.
DfE has also published:
Statutory guidance on the supported accommodation regulations
An analytical report of responses received to the consultation;
A response aimed directly at children and young people; and,
An ad-hoc stats release on the use of supported accommodation (including a breakdown on placements by LA).