National care standards: care homes for children and young people

National care standards: care homes for children and young people Edition


1-7 Beginning your stay

1 Arriving for the first time
2 First meetings
3 Keeping in touch with people who are important to you
4 Support arrangements
5 Your environment
6 Feeling safe and secure
7 Management and staffing

Introduction to standards 1 to 7

The services for your care and welfare in the care home are designed to give you the opportunity for personal development and help you to reach your full potential. Your views, and the views of your family, should be heard and considered.

Standards in this section are grouped around those aspects of the service that are offered at the beginning of your stay in a care home. They will help you decide what your quality of life will be like once you begin your stay.

Arriving for the first time

Everyone takes time to settle when they first move away from home. You can expect staff to be particularly sensitive to your feelings and worries at this time. They will welcome and encourage you in your new surroundings, and offer help when you need it. Visiting the care home beforehand will help prepare you for moving there.

First meetings

Being able to visit the care home before you begin your stay will help you settle in. You may sometimes want your family and others responsible for your care to visit with you.

Keeping in touch

Keeping in touch with members of your family and friends is important. You should receive all the support you need to keep in touch with them.

Support arrangements

Your personal plan is the plan that you and all the people involved in your support and care draw up to make sure that your current and future needs are met in the care home. Your Care Plan describes how all services will work together to meet your needs. If there are changes in your circumstances that affect how the care home can meet your needs, staff will inform those responsible for planning your care.

Your environment

You should stay in a friendly and welcoming environment that is warm and comfortable. The care home should be accessible but also safe and secure.

You must be satisfied that it can accommodate you and any belongings and equipment you need in a way which supports your right to privacy and dignity.

How the building looks on the outside is important. The building and its grounds should look good, give a positive image to the outside world, and blend in with neighbouring properties.

Feeling safe and secure

You have the right to feel safe, secure and protected in all aspects of your life. Staff will help you to reduce any risks to yourself.

Management and staffing

The people who are responsible for your support and care should have all the necessary experience, skills and training to meet your needs. They should know the best-practice guidance and be able to put it into practice.

Arriving for the first time

Standard 1
You are welcomed to the care home and know what to expect during your stay.

1 You are made to feel welcome. You and your family have good quality, up-to-date information about the care home in a leaflet or information pack that is written in plain English or in a language or format that is suitable for you. It should include information about:

  • the care home's philosophy;
  • the accommodation and services and number of places provided in the care home;
  • the address and telephone number of the home and information about transport (for example, bus routes);
  • the manager and staff of the care home, including their qualifications;
  • your rights and responsibilities;
  • how you can be involved in decisions;
  • how you can raise a concern or complaint;
  • whether (and if so, how) any needs you have arising from a disability or your ethnic background, culture, language or faith are met;
  • how your particular interests will be met;
  • behaviour that is expected of you and what will happen if you do not behave in that way;
  • what will happen if you are caught in possession of unauthorised alcohol or unauthorised and/or illegal drugs;
  • family contact and visiting arrangements;
  • how the care home prevents bullying and discrimination;
  • how you will be protected from harm;
  • what educational support you will receive;
  • the need to insure personal belongings; and
  • fire and safety procedures.

First meetings

Standard 2
Staff do all they can to help you to settle in to the accommodation. The care home provides you with a friendly and caring environment, and you have access to help and support.

1 Wherever possible, you have an opportunity to visit the care home and see your bedroom before you move in or start your short break.

2 You meet the young people who you will be living with and the staff who will be caring for you. You know who your key worker is before you move in.

3 You know that staff prepare for your arrival and encourage others to welcome you.

4 You know that the care home involves your family in all stages of your stay. If you have a social worker, the care home will involve him or her.

5 The care home will take account of your family's needs in the way it provides your break.

6 If your stay begins at very short notice, staff will make sure they have all the information they need to meet your needs. They will make sure that an initial assessment of your needs takes place within 72 hours of your arrival. Your family may be able to take part in the assessment.

7 If you are staying in the care home because of a crisis at home, staff will help you keep up to date about the crisis and how it may affect how long you stay.

Keeping in touch with people who are important to you

Standard 3
You are helped to keep in touch with your family and friends and to have a good understanding of your family history and relationships.

1 You are helped to keep in contact with parents, brothers and sisters, friends or carers and other people who are important in your life. This has to be in line with your wishes and to be in your best interests. This may be by e-mail, letters and phone calls and visits.

2 If you are a long way from your home area, staff will help to arrange accommodation and transport for your family.

3 Your family is made to feel welcome and any special facilities they need are provided. Family visits to the care home can be made in private.

4 If you cannot tell them yourself, your family will quickly be told about any significant events, developments or incidents in your life.

5 You can be confident that staff treat your family with respect and listen to their views. Family members can speak with staff in private.

6 If you do not want to have contact with your family, or if it is unsafe for you to do so, or some family members have cut off contact with you, staff explain why, support you, and help you to sort out the difficulties and help you gain an understanding of your family history (for example, through a life story book). You are told how you may appeal against any restrictions to your contact with family and friends.

7 You know that members of staff are aware of issues of separation and loss and can give you and your family advice and support if you need it.

Support arrangements

Standard 4
The support you receive in the care home is based on your Care Plan or personal plan. You are involved in the planning of your care. Statutory care review arrangements are met.

1 You are confident that staff care for you in a way that is in line with your Care Plan or personal plan and work with others to meet your needs. They have close working relationships with your family and friends and others involved in your education and care.

2 You are confident that staff in the care home will help you to understand your Care Plan or personal plan and take part in reviewing it.

3 The services and support you receive take account of any particular needs you may have. These may include your health, education, culture, ethnic background, faith, language, sexuality, ability and any disability you may have.

4 If your circumstances change in a way that means the care home may no longer meet your needs, you are confident that staff will inform all those responsible for planning your care.

Your environment

Standard 5
You stay in a welcoming, warm and comfortable environment that is safe, secure and accessible. You have enough space.

1 Your care home is clean, looks attractive and is personalised (for example, it is furnished with a range of personal items and touches) and has good lighting, heating and ventilation.

2 Your furniture and equipment is in good condition, is homely and sturdy, is safe and meets health and safety requirements.

3 The assessment of your needs recorded in your Care Plan and personal plan is used by staff to decide if it is appropriate for you to share your bedroom and if so, who with. Your bedroom is big enough to be comfortable and your views about who you share with will be taken into account.

4 Your bedroom is big enough to be comfortable and your views about who you share with are taken into account.

5 If you use a wheelchair or other equipment, your room will be large enough to accommodate your requirements.

6 Your room has a window, is well ventilated and is heated by a system that allows you to control the temperature.

7 You have somewhere to lock away your personal belongings.

8 If you cannot have moveable objects for reasons of security, the care home will make your living space as attractive as possible in other ways, for example, using decoration, textiles and colour.

9 You have enough space for individual and group activities. This includes play space or quiet areas, if you want to study.

10 You live in a smoke-free environment.

11 You have en-suite or nearby bath or shower facilities and you have privacy when using them.

12 Whenever possible, you have access to the kitchen.

Feeling safe and secure

Standard 6
You feel safe and secure in all aspects of your stay in the care home. At any time, there are enough staff available to help you when needed.

1 Unless all residents are aged 16 years or over, you know that there are at least two staff on duty and available at all times. There is at least one member of staff on duty and another available on call at night *.

2 You are protected from all kinds of abuse. You can be confident that staff are aware of child protection procedures and that they know what to do when they have a concern. Staff know what to do and will help you get appropriate specialist help if you wish to tell someone that you have been abused or ill-treated in any way by anyone at any time.

3 You can be confident that all staff know what to do if a young person goes missing.

4 You know that the accommodation is accessible, but attention is also paid to security issues and there is a security policy in place. This includes a policy on visitors which states when they are issued with passes and what measures are taken to record visits.

5 You know that fire and safety procedures are in place, meet regulations and guidelines on best practice, and are followed. Risk assessments are regularly updated.

6 You know what will happen if there is a fire or any other emergency, and what you should do.

7 You know that staff hold regular fire drills (including drills at night). Fire equipment is properly maintained and regularly inspected. Staff keep records of incidents, drills and inspections, including how long it took to evacuate the building.

8 If you are a younger, frail or less confident child, or have a disability,

or if you find it difficult to communicate, you are protected from more challenging or stronger children.

9 In line with the care home policy, staff and children actively challenge and combat any form of bullying or discrimination from any child or member of staff. You feel free to report anything that is worrying you.

10 You can be confident that staff never touch you in an inappropriate manner.

11 You can be assured the care home has a written policy and procedures on the conditions where restraint may be used. Staff are fully trained and supported in the use of restraint. If it is necessary to restrain you at any time, this is written in your care plan. Records are kept of any incidents involving your restraint. You can expect to be supported after any episode of restraint.

12 You know that staff members use restraint only when there is likely to be harm or damage. Staff members are trained to anticipate and calm down possibly dangerous situations.

13 You can be confident that staff are skilled in helping you to change your behaviour where this is harmful to you. You have advice on protecting yourself (for example, against people who may harm you, criminal behaviour or drug misuse).

14 You know that accidents or other incidents are recorded and investigated. Your family is informed of any serious incident.

15 You have guidance on how to use the Internet safely. Staff are skilled in helping you to use it. If you have access to TV and videos, they are suitable for your age.

16 You know that vehicles used by homes are serviced regularly and seat belts or other alternative restraints are always worn. Drivers and escorts can deal with emergencies, for example, first aid.

17 If you are having short breaks, personal belongings that you leave at the care home will be properly looked after.

Management and staffing

Standard 7
You experience good quality care and support. This is provided by managers and staff whose professional training and expertise allows them to meet your needs. Your care is in line with the law and best-practice guidelines.

1 You can be assured that the care home has policies and procedures that cover all legal requirements, including:

  • staffing and training;
  • 'whistle-blowing';
  • managing risk; and
  • proper record-keeping, including recording incidents and complaints.

2 You can be assured that staff and volunteers are properly supervised and appraised and have access to advice and support. The roles and responsibilities of the manager of the care home are clear to you.

3 You know that at all times there are enough members of staff to meet your support and care needs. The levels are agreed between the Care Commission's staff and the managers of the care home.

4 You can be confident that effective recording and information systems are in place. All significant incidents are recorded.

5 You can be assured that when staff members or volunteers are involved in any financial transaction, it will be carefully recorded. This will be in a way that can be checked by the Care Commission's staff.

6 You know that external managers monitor the care you receive in the care home. The quality and performance of the care home and children and young people's views and complaints are monitored. The external manager or board makes sure the manager is suitable for the role.

7 You know that the care home staff, managers and volunteers are recruited and selected through a process that takes account of safe recruitment practices. This includes:

  • criminal records checks;
  • checks with previous employers;
  • taking up references; and
  • cross-reference to the registers of the Scottish Social Services Council, or other professional organisations.

8 You know that the care home staff have the knowledge and skills necessary to undertake their roles and tasks and to meet your needs. You know that the service has a staff development strategy and an effective yearly training plan for all its staff. For staff caring for you directly, this focuses on them achieving the qualifications required for registration with the SSSC.

9 You can expect the service to evaluate what it does and make improvements and that it will do this by making sure that:

  • staff are trained and re-accredited appropriately;
  • staff are involved in the systematic evaluation and discussion of their work and the work of the service, including the use of assessment information;
  • parents, carers, children, young people and staff will have the opportunity to contribute as appropriate to evaluation;
  • evaluation is continuous and takes account of relevant national and local advice;
  • staff will have clear plans for maintaining and improving the service; and
  • information (for example, annual reports) is produced for residents committees and those responsible for your care, outlining the performance of the care home.

10 You can be confident that if you have special needs because of disability, staff will have an understanding of this and be able to provide appropriate help and support.

*Exact staffing levels will be agreed with the Care Commission as set out in Standard 7(3).

Back to top