Regulation 44 Independent Person Network


The Regulation 44 Independent Person Network is now up and running after a couple of great sessions to set out what we want and how it should look. You’ll find details of the network, benefits and opportunities for Regulation 44 training opportunities below.

The next meeting of the Regulation 44 network is 5th October, 2020, 10am to 1pm. To attend the meeting click here – you’ll need to have joined the network (below) to have been sent the password.

Our next meeting reflects on preparations for the second wave of the pandemic, current guidance to homes and how regulation 44 visitors might support homes as levels of risk change. We then step away from COVID-19 completely (!), back to basics and reflect on how we hold the role, what motivates us and how this impacts on our judgements. Building on this there is a group discussion on gathering feedback on our visits to share challenges and good practice.

10am Introductions and expectations

COVID-19 and regulation 44 visits – latest guidance & practice

1045  Motivation & regulation 44 work

1030  Comfort break

1140  Groupwork

  • Current practice issues
  • Gathering feedback on your visits
  • Topics for future discussion

1215  Feedback & large group discussion

1300  Close

To attend, you’ll need to be a member of the Regulation 44 Independent Person Network – there are more details below.

We’re looking forward to seeing you,

John & Christine

Over the summer we developed and shared some ideas about how Regulation 44 visitors can support one another. There was consensus on a low-cost membership model which gives us the capacity to keep you up to date and provide lots of support to help you in your role. Membership is £99+vat and includes:

  • Four 3-hour online sessions a year
    • Regulatory, guidance and research updates
    • Small group peer support around semi-structured questions
    • Speakers on areas of interest to Reg44 visitors
    • One regional or national forum event, dependent on local demand and the impact of the pandemic
  • An online forum for on-going discussion of issues and notification of new guidance and similar (coming soon)
  • Free initial safeguarding or regulatory advice
  • A register of Regulation 44 visitors who consent for their contact details to be shared with registered managers and RIs of children’s homes seeking a visitor
  • Discounted training places with dialogue
  • Discounted advertising arrangements at the ICHA conference
  • Other benefits achieved through the year, such as sector representation with the regulator or DfE

To join the Regulation 44 Independent Person Network simply complete the form in the next column. You can also register for the training we have coming up in the Autumn.

Participants will

  • Understand the role of the Visitor within the Regulatory Framework
  • Explore their role in planning for, completing and reporting on a visit to the home
  • Undertake key areas to be reviewed at each visit
  • Recognise the value of young people’s, family and other professionals’ input to their visits
  • Recognise and understand the key roles of the Visitor in terms of safeguarding and driving forward the development of the home
  • Understand the limitations and sometimes the frustrations in the role.

Each session is broken into 4 half hour sessions. The fourth session is always a discussion forum where questions can be raised online and either linked into the material of the day (or future days) or discussed at the time.

This course will be running again early in 2021 and is £99+VAT for members (£132 non-members). One or two sessions can be missed and caught up with our ‘watch again’ option.

We will contact you as soon as it is available.

Autumn 2020 dates (full): 10am to 12pm on 5th, 19th November, 3rd and 18th December and 7th and 22nd January

Spring 2021 (dates coming soon)

Express interest now using the registration form in the next column.

This face-to-face course will be run regionally, dependent on demand and the impact of the pandemic. The course will be £120+vat (£160+vat non-members).

This is an expression of interest at this stage.

You’ll find more details at and can let us know of your interest in the registration form in the next column.

We had a great meeting in July with 25 attendees. Christine provided a COVID-19 update – regulations, guidance, society and the impact of children in residential care and discussed with the group some approaches to ensure a robust, safe but realistic response. Liz Cooper, deputy CEO of the Independent Children’s Homes Association has been speaking to leaders and managers of children’s homes every week through the pandemic. She shared with us some of the experiences and some of the learning for regulation 44 visitors. After a few technical difficulties there were discussions on the boundaries of the Regulation 44 role and on the Government consultation on extending some of the regulations under the Coronavirus regulations (The consultation closes on 5th August but we heard about the views of several academics criticising the consultation as overly political and skewed).

John Woodhouse sums up some of the findings of the survey from last time and we agreed how the Regulation 44 Independent Person Network will be structured and costed. Download the report & proposal here.

The next meeting will be on 5th October 2020, from 10am to 1pm. To attend you will need to join the Regulation 44 Independent Person Network (you can do this in the next column).

PDF icon Download Christine’s presentation here

PDF icon Download Liz’s presentation here

We had an excellent online meeting last month talking about the impact of COVID-19 on independent visits to children’s homes. Christine Freestone described the impact of the virus and many of those present were grateful for her analysis and ideas. The importance of Regulation 44 visitors has not been more significant in recent years, with Ofsted confirming on Sunday evening they will not be undertaking routine inspections until April 2021 (see below). Instead they will rely on sources of information such as the Regulation 44 reports to determine whether a visit should be undertaken. This reinforces the need to ensure visitors are properly supported and we undertook a survey to determine what support people would like going forward (see agenda).

Attendees completed a survey on what they wanted and saw the benefit of a low-cost paid membership scheme (see the report & proposal). People said they would like regular meetings, so we have scheduled another meeting for Thursday 23rd July, 10am to 12pm. If you’d like to attend join the Regulation 44 ‘waiting list’ at Christine will provide further updates on the shifting sands as we come out of lockdown and we are being joined by the eminent deputy CEO of ICHA, Liz Cooper, who will share with us the findings of her weekly ‘state of the nation’ telephone survey of children’s homes. There will be additional time for the small groups to focus on some semi-structured questions and we will agree a framework and dates for the network moving forward.