Registering as a Provider of Supported Accommodation for Care Leavers Aged 16-17

Mar 07, 2024

From October 28th, 2023, providers in England that wish to offer supported accommodation for young people transitioning from care, specifically those aged 16 to 17 (care leavers), must become a Registered Provider with Ofsted. This step leads to inspections where providers are assessed to ensure they meet the Supported Living Quality Standards. This will ensure that all accommodation for care leavers sufficiently meets the young people’s needs and helps them transition to adulthood.

So, how do you become a Registered Provider for supported accommodation?

What's registration about?

The requirement for Ofsted registration came off the back of the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021, which stopped children under 16 from being placed in semi-independent or independent settings which weren’t regulated. The Supported Accommodation (England) Regulations 2023 prevent Local Authorities from placing care leavers in unregulated settings, ensuring a commitment to safeguarding and enhancing the welfare of these young people as they transition to adulthood. Regulation ensures supported accommodation is always secure, supportive and meets the unique needs of each care leaver.

How to register as a provider of supported accommodation

Starting 28 April 2023, Ofsted initiated the registration of existing supported accommodation services for care leavers, making it a mandatory requirement by 28 October 2023. Prospective providers aiming to offer supported accommodation under specific provisions of the Children Act 1989 are now required to:

  • Submit an SC1 form to apply for registration as a supported accommodation, providing details about the service and provider.
  • Complete an SC2 form for each individual holding a responsibility within the service, offering information on these key roles.
  • Cover the registration fees, with distinct charges for the service and the service manager.

There’s lots of guidance about registering as a supported accommodation provider and the regulation of providers of supported accommodation on the Government website.

When you apply, you must also specify the type of supported accommodation you intend to provide, ranging from single occupancy and various shared accommodations to supported lodgings in a private residence.

Do all providers have to register?

Not everyone providing supported accommodation needs to register with Ofsted. Exemptions include:

  • Care Homes
  • Further education institutions
  • 16-19 academies
  • Hospitals
  • Residential family centres
  • Schools offering accommodation
  • Holiday schemes for disabled children

What happens after registration?

Post-registration, providers are obliged to comply with the conditions of their registration. Specifically, you’ll need to meet the Supported Living Quality Standards set out in the Supported Accommodation (England) Regulations 2023. You must report serious incidents and significant changes to Ofsted and pay an annual fee to maintain your registration status.

From April this year, Ofsted will carry out inspections at least once every three years. They can already carry out visits if concerns are raised.

Is it a complicated process?

Though adapting to the demands of Ofsted registration and regulation may present challenges for both new and existing providers of supported accommodation, it is a crucial step in safeguarding the interests of care leavers. The registration process itself isn’t overly complicated. However, it’s imperative that Registered Providers fully understand their obligations under the Supported Accommodation (England) Regulations 2023, and this is more complex.

I’m on hand to offer support and training to supported accommodation providers, ensuring the highest standards of support for young people in your care.

Membership Page Here