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Training and developing staff in children’s homes

Research report

The National Children’s Bureau (NCB) Research Centre and TNS BMRB were commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) in the autumn of 2013 to carry out a programme of research to better understand the qualifications, skills and training required to meet the needs of young people living in a children’s home. This report presents the findings from case studies carried out in 20 children’s homes between December 2013 and April 2014. They were selected from a census which generated a profile of children’s homes across England. It is intended that the findings will feed into work being led by the DfE and the sector to revise the training and qualifications of staff in residential children’s care.

The research is set against a backdrop of increasing concerns about the qualifications, specialist knowledge and skills of staff working in children’s homes. A recent report produced by the Expert Group1 on the quality of children’s homes highlighted the main issues facing the children’s workforce as being: insufficient levels of qualification and specialist knowledge and skills; inadequate career pathways and progression routes; a lack of reward and recognition in return for the exacting requirements of care staff; and a lack of identity or shared core professional standards.