Survey of Children’s Homes Reveals Staffing Struggles and Growing Costs Amid Growing Demand

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 02:47 am

The Children’s Homes Association (CHA) has published its 9th ‘State of the Sector’ survey, which highlights the staffing pressures and rising costs facing residential childcare providers. The survey was conducted independently by Andrew Rome of Revolution Consulting, giving providers a platform to share their perspectives on how to better deal with the challenges they face.

Andrew Rome summarised the key messages from the survey, which are detailed in the official report alongside operators’ comments and suggestions. He said: “Pressures on staffing in labour-intensive children’s homes services combine with inflation driven cost of living increases to add new levels of challenge to a sector already facing multiple issues. Record levels of demand for children’s homes places for increasingly complex needs are meeting a provider sector that is at times struggling to keep pace. The challenges in recruitment and retention of staff act as a particular inhibitor to additional investment and growth of capacity for smaller providers.”

From the survey, it was revealed that 67% of respondents reported increases in referrals, with 73% of providers experiencing significant staff recruitment and retention challenges. Additionally, 75% of providers reported improved or stable Ofsted inspection outcomes in the past year.

Peter Sandiford, CEO of The Children’s Homes Association said: “We’d like to again thank all CHA members who took the time to share their detailed information and experiences as part of this important annual survey and provide such vital learnings for the sector and all its stakeholders.

“This year’s survey report demonstrates the genuine desire for shared learning and positive, child-centred collaboration between members across the public, private and voluntary sectors and throughout the wider sector as a whole. We are proud to give our members a voice in this way – their dedication to working together to improve outcomes for children and young people is inspiring and should be valued, recognised and embraced by local authorities, commissioners and stakeholders who must take time to learn from their expertise and insights.“

The full survey report is available online and provides an in-depth look at the challenges facing residential childcare providers and the sector as a whole. The report also includes the perspectives of providers and their suggestions on how to improve the sector.

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