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Independent review of Children's homes (FOI)

Independent review of Children's homes (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 15 September 2020.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


Please see FOI request below regarding the review of children’s homes by the Independent Children’s Home Association.
Please release the following:
Specification for the review of children’s residential homes in Jersey by the ICHA.
Details of the procurement process/ tendering process for the review.
The reasons why the ICHA were chosen to undertake the review.
The details of the involvement of people with care experience in setting the specification for the review and in selecting the provider.
Confirmation of whether the Director of Safeguarding and Care has previously worked with employees/Directors of the ICHA and in what capacity.
Please release the cost of the review.


Please find below the Terms of Reference, which outline the parameters of the review.
Terms of Reference
A formal exemption was requested and approved to deviate from undertaking the competition process associated with the expenditure threshold, for example not obtaining 3 quotes. This was undertaken in accordance with the Government of Jersey Procurement Best Practice Procedures.
The Independent Children’s Homes Association is a membership organisation representing 195 private and voluntary sector member organisations, over 1118 homes and over 3912 beds for children and young people. Their collective experience of operating children’s homes is unparalleled. With 80% of its members’ children’s homes achieving ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’ ratings by Ofsted and only 1% ‘inadequate’ the quality of its members provision is undeniable. The Government of Jersey is committed to delivering outstanding services for children and young people and are open to learning from ‘best in class’ providers.

A key reason for engaging ICHA, was to access individuals within their organisation and membership with proven experience in the delivery of outstanding services as assessed by Ofsted.  For example:
• The lead reviewer, Liz Cooper, has a Masters in Business Administration, she led an organisation with six homes for many years, consistently securing Ofsted ratings of ‘outstanding’.  Before moving into children’s residential care Liz was a health services regulatory inspector of adult and children’s services and prior to that, was a senior nurse.
• The secure children’s home reviewer, Liz Ambler, has a background as a registered nurse and has worked in health and social care for 25 years in a range of settings, running services in the UK and internationally. Most recently Liz was Chief Operating Officer for Nugent, a charity in the North West of England supporting some of the most vulnerable people in society. As part of this role, Liz was responsible for England’s only charity run secure children’s home.
ICHA represent both voluntary and private providers and children’s homes and the organisation is a Not for Profit Limited by Guarantee Association.
People with care experience were not involved in setting the specification for the review and in selecting the provider.
The Director of Safeguarding and Care, Mark Owers, has previously worked with Peter Sandiford, the current CEO of the Independent Children’s Homes Association as follows:

- Mark and Peter were members of the Adoption Leadership Board for England and the Adoption Expert Group that advised the Government.
- Mark was previously the CEO of the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies (CVAA). CVAA is a membership organisation, made up of 27 voluntary adoption agencies (VAAs) across the four nations of the UK. PAC UK was a member and Peter was the CEO.
- Mark was contracted by the Consortium of Adoption Support Agencies (CASA) to review their constitution. Peter was the Chair of CASA at this time. CASA is a group of independent Adoption Support Agencies (ASAs) registered under the Adoption and Children Act 2002.
- Mark was contracted by PAC UK to work with the Board of Trustees. Peter was the CEO at the time.  PAC UK is the largest not-for profit Adoption Support Agency in England.

The review is being undertaken by the Deputy CEO, Liz Cooper, of ICHA and Liz Ambler.  Mark has not previously worked with Liz Cooper or Liz Ambler in any capacity.
The total cost of the review will be no more than £40,000 including the contracted services, flights, accommodation, subsistence and any incidentals. The actual cost will be finalised at the end of the review and the total will be available on request.

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