ICHA Conference - Next

Welcome to the website of The Independent Children’s Homes Association

Thinking of Opening a Home?



A requirement for membership of ICHA is to already have a registered children’s home, or for associate membership, to provide related services.


However I can give a few useful comments.

Please see first the information in the FAQ section of our website http://www.icha.org.uk/faq.php re setting up a children's home. It is important to be aware that registration can be a lengthy process.

You are advised to refer to the OFSTED website, www.ofsted.gov.uk and consult carefully the regulations, as they pertain to the running of children's homes.


Ofsted now offer a guide explaining in more detail what the law says anyone intending to open a children’s home must do in order to apply for registration: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/childrens-social-care-registration-introduction-childrens-homes

The sector is highly regulated and you will need to be aware of the need to employ staff experienced in childcare and not least, a Registered Manager who meets OFSTED requirements. The lead-in time to establishing a children's home is substantial and you will be faced with significant setup costs, not only in terms of the property but in terms of recruitment of staff, training, establishing written procedures etc.

ICHA would caution anyone who is not experienced in residential childcare to be aware of the current market conditions and to have researched the need in your proposed geographic location very carefully. Be aware that many local authorities operate an approved provider list, many of which are accessed through a tender exercise and it may be that you will have to wait until the approved list is re-tendered until you can tender to be on that approved supplier listing. We therefore advise that you first do a substantial amount of background work to familiarise yourself with the sector and its requirements.

We are not permitted to recommend services but we do have details of consultants (see below), who offer services to children's homes to ensure they meet all standards before and after registration.

You may find it very helpful to contact them.


The following is the information concerning 2 Consultants who have worked with ICHA members:-


Ray Elphick

Compass Consultancy Services


Tel:  07568169340



Ed Nixon


EPN Consultancy

Mobile:  07539 329455

Tel:  01519 247150


Website & CV:




ICHA Membership


Although ICHA requires members already have a registered home, however, if you have an application already 'submitted to Ofsted' awaiting finalisation, you would be eligible to apply to become an Associate 'Holding' Member with a proviso that you are required to notify ICHA once your registration is finalised. You would then become a 'full ICHA member'.



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