A summary of recent research reports and articles affecting the residential sector.

This month we include links to research on young people’s views about what helps when they’ve been missing from care and a position statement from the ADCS on the care system with ideas for future development, as well as information about the consultation now open for unregulated provision.


Thank you for your interest in the first of our bulletins for anyone working with children in residential care. We’ve  written and curated information from across the sector and will provide a free update service for residential staff and leaders, commissioners, independent visitors and anyone else interested in the lives of young people living away from home. Every month you’ll find the latest research, discussion pieces and the opportunity to access sector specific training and support.

We’re interested in feedback and in people who want to help co-create the bulletin. If you’ve an idea for an article or are happy to summarise some research you’ve read just drop us a line or call Jen on 01803 493030.

This month…

What is care for – position statement from the ADCS

Training & Development opportunities

Missing children – what young people say they need

Coronavirus – the impact on young people’s mental health

What becomes of the open hearted – supporting staff resilience

The sufficiency enigma – are there really 11,000 vacancies? (in short, no!)

Introducing National Standards for unregulated provision – consultation through DfE

In care during Covid 19 – what children told us about lockdown

A little about us…

dialogue provides training and support to leaders and managers across the residential sector. In addition to a wide range of training we support a Registered Managers and Responsible Individual network in the south west of England, facilitate an innovative and effective commissioner/provider forum and run the national independent person network for Regulation 44 and Standard 20 visitors. We work closely with residential schools, providers, commissioners and the Independent Children’s Homes’ Association and have a pool of about 25 consultants ranging from actors (who supportive our immersive safeguarding training) to former Directors of Children’s Services (who are involved in our leadership and management training for RMs and RIs).

You’re welcome to get in touch to talk to us about how we might work together, or to access our range of sector specific training.

ADCS: What is care for?

Eight years on from their last position statement on the purpose of care the Association for Directors of Children’s Services have gathered views on the care system as it stands. As might be expected there’s a strong focus on the challenging financial culture, but the paper also sets out ideas about a more flexible approach to care for adolescents that is built around their needs and calls for changes to the regulatory system to allow for more creative solutions to their care.

ADCS: What is care for?

Consultation- Introducing National Standards for unregulated provision

The number of children in care placed in unregulated settings has increased from 2,900 in 2009 to 6,490 in 2020. We want to ensure these placements are good quality.

This consultation invites views on:

  • The key indicators of whether a provider is delivering ‘care’ or ‘support’
  • How best to define this provision in future and whether ‘supported accommodation for older children’ is the best descriptor.
  • What the best provision in this sector looks like and therefore what needs to be accounted for in new national standards.
  • A proposed suite of national standards
  • How settings should be regulated by Ofsted.

You can contribute to this consultation by visiting Introducing national standards for unregulated provision – Department for Education – Citizen Space

In care during COVID-19 – what children told us about lockdown

The personal cost of the pandemic has been high for everyone. Staying at home, cut off from family and friends, not being able to do the normal things we enjoy, has been incredibly tough. The same is true for children in care. And in many cases, the pandemic will have only amplified the difficulties and loneliness that some children in care and some care leavers already feel.

Almost all the parents who answered the survey said that the pandemic had affected contact with their child in some way. Some had clearly had positive experiences and were happy with the efforts providers had made to help their children keep in touch.

Sadly, other parents reported that they’d had no, or very little, face-to-face contact with their child. The reasons they gave varied from the distance of the home from where the parents lived, restrictions on travel, and providers having restrictions on visitors. A small number said that it had been between 2 months up to a year since they’d seen their child.

To read the full report, please visit In care during COVID-19 – what children told us about lockdown – Ofsted: developments in children’s social care (blog.gov.uk)

Upcoming Training Courses

Here is our current list of upcoming training. We will continue to risk assess and adapt to ensure any direct delivery is COVID-safe. At present we are considering direct delivery at your venue with socially distanced training, and are slowly looking to return to running face-to-face open sessions later this year.  Most of these courses below are still booked as remote learning throughout this year.

Responsible Individual training starting 1st June (online)

Reg44 and S20 training starting 15th June (online)

Safeguarding Supervision Training starting 21st September (online)

Developing the role of the RI training on 15th September (in Berkshire)

Avoiding Medication Errors training starting 21st September (online)

Safeguarding for Leaders training starting 4th October (online)

Safer Recruitment training starting 8th November (online)