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Financial stability, cost charge and value for money in the children's residential care market

Report | June 2015

IPC undertook a project for the Department for Education to improve the understanding of the children`s residential care market, focusing on the financial stability of providers and offering options for how to improve the functioning of the market. The research was intended to explore how stable the market is, how to monitor, manage and influence it and how to establish the true costs of residential care provision.

IPC conducted the research in partnership with Revolution Consulting

The project included interviews with a range of stakeholders, focus groups with provider organisations, telephone interviews with some care homes and the development of a benchmarking model

The report reviewed a range of sources relevant to markets in public care and to the children`s residential care market in particular. These included previous research reports relevant to the market, publicly available financial information and credit reports relating to the larger providers, plus a range of data sources such as the 903 and the 251 return and the Children’s Homes Data Pack.

The research was completed between November 2014 and February 2015, working with a range of providers and local authority commissioners.

The final report offered 10 recommendations for children's residential care covering the market, regulation and promoting co-operation.

This is the main report including conclusions and recommendations. A separate set of appendices and a third paper on benchmarking are available on the DfE website.