Today sees the publication of our State-of-the-sector market study of children’s homes, commissioned by ICHA.
ICHA May 2022 final
This comprehensive study enhances the information available to policy makers as they consider the many recommendations arising from the CMA and the Independent Care Review, both of which placed primary importance on the perspective gained from study of the largest providers. It is essential to state that the top 10 providers account for only 1/3rd of children’s homes, and therefore any strategy needs to consider the role of the majority small and medium providers.
As the most up to date and comprehensive picture of the sector, the state of the sector report illustrates growing staffing and workforce pressures that risk undermining the ability of providers to respond to escalating need and demand. These are increasingly severe issues that require urgent attention.
When it comes to consideration of the way forward for commissioning, there is undoubtedly a need for innovative solutions in risk sharing and relationship development. Last weeks’ national children’s commissioning and training conference heard from Dan Turnbull of the CMA about their findings and had also hoped to hear directly from the chair of the Review, Josh MacAlister, but over 400 attendees were disappointed when he did not attend his allotted slot on the main platform.
Having personally had the chance to hear first hand from dozens of commissioners at the event, and through recent webinars for the LGA, it is clear to me that many have reservations about the regional structure put forward.
I would urge Will Quince to ensure his implementation team engage with commissioners and providers at a level of detail that the main reviews could not achieve.
There are a range of options not considered by the larger studies that merit proper debate and consideration.