Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Eighteenth Report


Memorandum from the Department of Health

Children's Homes Regulations 2001 (S.I. 2001/3967)

1. The Committee has requested a Memorandum on the following points:

(1) Regulation 17(3)(b) requires the registered person to notify the Commission of any revision to the behaviour management policy. Explain why no provision is made for the registered person to send a copy of the policy to the Commission.

2. It is not considered necessary given the other regulatory requirements which apply. On an application for registration, the provider must supply the Commission with, among other things, (a) details of the use of restraint and discipline, the circumstances in which they will be used, and who is permitted to authorise such use (paragraph 8 of Schedule 5 to S.I. 2001/3969), and (b) a copy of the home's statement of purpose (paragraph 7 of Schedule 1 to S.I. 2001/3969). The statement of purpose must set out the arrangements for the control, restraint and discipline of children (paragraph 16 of Schedule 1 to the Children's Homes Regulations).

(2) Explain the reference, in paragraph (5) of regulation 17, to paragraph (7), given that that regulation does not contain a paragraph so numbered.

3. The reference to paragraph (7) is an error, left over from an earlier draft which contained such a paragraph. We will amend regulation 17 at the first available opportunity.

(3) Regulation 28(3) requires a record relating to each child accommodated in a children's home to be kept for at least 75 years from the date of birth of the child to whom it relates or, if the child dies before attaining the age of 18, for a period of 15 years from the date of his death. In relation to a person aged over 18, is it intended that the minimum 75 year period should apply even if the registered person knows that the person has died. If so, what is the reason for the different rules in relation to this case and the case where the child dies before reaching 18?

4. It is intended that the minimum 75 year period should apply. The requirement in regulation 28(3), which is a restatement of regulation 15(3) of the Children's Homes Regulations 1991, is intended to be as simple as possible. It is felt that a straightforward requirement to keep records for at least 75 years from the date of birth is the simplest system for a registered person to operate and the Commission to monitor. A separate rule for adults who die would complicate any system, be difficult to monitor, and is unlikely to be justified in numerical terms as it is considered unlikely that a registered person will very often be aware of such a death. There is an exception in the case of the death of a child, an event of which there is a greater likelihood that the registered person will be aware.

(4) As regards the effect of regulation 41(2) and (3) in relation to a failure to comply with the provisions of regulations 5(b), 10, 17(3)(b) and (4), 30(1), 33(3) and 37(5), does the Department wish to add anything to its memorandum of 21 January 2002 in relation to the similar point raised on regulations 11, 43 and 51 of S.I. 2001/3969, 3965 and 3968 respectively.

5. The Department's Memorandum of 21st January 2002 applies similarly to regulation 41. The Department does not wish to add anything further.

28 January 2002

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