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Children in Care

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL2761, tabled on 15 September 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children are in unregistered residential accommodation.

Answered on

23 September 2021

Any setting that is providing care and accommodation must register with Ofsted as a children’s home. If a setting is providing care and accommodation but is operating without Ofsted registration, they are operating illegally as an ‘unregistered’ children’s home. We do not collect national data on how many children in England are in unregistered settings offering care and accommodation.

Ofsted investigates notifications about potential unregistered children’s homes and in 2019/20 they undertook 250 investigations[1]. Of these, around a quarter should have been registered with Ofsted. Local authorities have a duty to ensure sufficient appropriate provision for the children they look after and that every looked-after child is placed in an appropriate care setting that meets their needs.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ofsted-annual-report-201920-education-childrens-services-and-skills/the-annual-report-of-her-majestys-chief-inspector-of-education-childrens-services-and-skills-201920.