In this episode Laura Richardson shares her experience of working in and managing residential children’s homes. She explains what factors will influence providers choosing a property for a children’s home and what property is suitable and the kind of adaptations that may be needed. She discusses the current regulation for children’s homes but how providers supporting young people aged 16-18 do not need to be regulated. Laura is now offering a service to ensure best practice for providers supporting young people in this unregulated area of care by offering inspections that mirror those required by OFSTED for younger children.

Laura Richardson is mum to three children and has worked in Residential Childcare for the last 18 years. She has experience as a Dual Registered Manager, ISO 9001 Quality Manager and has also worked as a Quality Assurance and Training Manager. More recently she has become self-employed and now predominantly provides Independent Regulation 44 Visits to children’s homes (as well as other services), as is required in the Children’s Home Regulations 2015.

Laura now also providing independent quality assurance visits to 16-18 years supported living care leavers services. This is currently unregulated, but regardless of opinions on whether this is appropriate, there are more and more of these services opening, and placing authorities are using them.

As a provider it’s important that quality of your support, safeguarding and progress of young people is monitored. Reports produced from independent visits will be sent to placing authorities, as well as managers and will contain recommendations for areas that can be improved.

Laura suspects that following the current review of children’s social care, these ‘grey area’ provisions may well become regulated. Laura is based in North Staffordshire and covers the Midlands and some of the North West at present. She does work in collaboration with other consultants so services may be sourced in other areas.

Laura can be contacted by LinkedIn

Lisa Brown became a property developer after her nursing career. She then discovered the need for supported living property and has been exploring the challenges and solutions, to create more homes for those with support needs, ever since.

Lisa has some limited availability for consultancy calls. If you would like to talk through anything discussed in the podcast, to explore how to work with supported living providers in your property business or if you are a supported living provider looking to understand property then please email

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