Placements and Admissions


The Quality and Purpose of Care Standard
Regulation 6

The Care Planning Standard
Regulation 14


The area local authority (if different from the placing authority) must be notified without delay of the admission of a child to the Home.

The notification must state:


This chapter was amended in September 2022, to note the importance of a child’s belonging’s being transferred in appropriate luggage and to add a link to the NYAS ‘My Things Matter’ Report – support and respect care-experienced children and their belongings when they move (see Section 5, Preparing the Child / Young Person for Admission).


  1. Making a Referral
  2. Action on Receipt of a Referral
  3. Emergency Admissions
  4. When the Placement is Agreed
  5. Preparing the Child / Young Person for Admission

1. Making a Referral

Referrals should usually be made on a Children’s Homes Referral and Admission Record. Alternatively a relevant fostering referral will be accepted provided that any necessary additional information is supplied. The residential manager will access further information on the Children’s Record System if required.

A referral for a specific placement should be sent to the Children’s Home Manager and the relevant line manager (Paul Whitehouse or Elaine Cole). A general referral should be sent to both of the above and to the Head of Service.

2. Action on Receipt of a Referral

Upon receipt of a referral, the Home’s Manager will review the referral information, speak to the referring social worker and assess whether the admission is appropriate. This will be based upon the home’s Statement of Purpose, the child’s needs, the needs of other children and young people already living in the home and an assessment of the risks of making the placement.

The manager will record their decision whether or not to admit a child or young person on the Referral and Admission Record, return it to the referring social worker and place a copy in the home’s Referral File.

The Head of Service and Service Managers receiving a referral will make sure the referral is seen by the appropriate Homes.

The admission of any child who falls outside the home’s registration category must be approved by Ofsted and the referrer will be kept informed of the progress of the referral.

3. Emergency Admissions

In an emergency it may not be possible to obtain full information and documentation. The manager will assess the referral on the basis of the information available and make a decision based on the welfare of the individual child and other children in the home. The conditions and time limits of any emergency placement will be made clear to the placing social worker and follow up action agreed.

4. When the Placement is Agreed

Once a placement has been agreed a Pre-Placement Planning Meeting will be arranged to agree Care Plans and Placement Plans, complete risk assessments and ensure that all of the essential documentation is up to date and on the child’s residential file. This should include a completed Referral Record Sheet and an assessment of the risks to other children in the Home arising from this admission. If necessary a copy of the Home's Statement of Purpose will be sent to the Social Worker (see Statements of Purpose).

No admission will be made to a children’s home without a written referral, all essential documentation, information and risk assessments, except emergency admissions, in which case the above should be completed within 72 hours of admission.

It is the Social Worker’s responsibility to provide all of the essential documentation mentioned above and contribute to all assessments. It is the Key Worker’s responsibility to organise the child’s residential file and to obtain any outstanding documentation and information.

5. Preparing the Child / Young Person for Admission

Prior to the agreed admission date, the child, parent, family and significant others, as appropriate, should be invited to visit the home for a meal, on at least one occasion, to meet the other children and staff and to ask any questions and have any queries or concerns answered.

The child’s bedroom should be prepared prior to admission. Where possible, they should be able to choose their own bedding, the decoration or colour scheme and layout.

The child and parent should all be given a copy of the home’s Statement of Purpose and the child a Welcome Pack to read in preparation for the admission. They should be prepared for the admission to the home and helped to understand what to expect from staff and what will be expected of them. The child should be encouraged to bring with them favourite and cherished possessions, although expensive items will require careful consideration.

The admission should be handled in a sensitive caring manner. An identified member of staff (the Key Worker wherever possible) should welcome the child, parent, social worker and significant others. They should ensure that the Admission and Discharge Log details are recorded.

They should settle the child in by showing them to their bedroom and helping them unpack. They should also ensure that the child understands what is in Living in a Children's Home – A Guide for Children and Young People especially in terms of their rights and their responsibilities and have the routines and rules of the home explained to them. It is particularly important that the child understands what to do if they are not happy about anything and that they will be listened to and what they have to say will be taken seriously. Suitable luggage should be used and a child's belongings should never be transported in bin-bags or other inappropriate containers (see NYAS, My Things Matter Report).

The child should be helped to express their emotions and cope with their feelings about living away from home.

The Key Worker should arrange regular sessions to consult with the child to ensure that they have the opportunity to express their views and wishes and raise any concerns or complaints they may have about their care. It is important to hold these sessions throughout their stay but especially so in the days and weeks following their admission.