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OFSTED: policy supporting continuity of care?

(27 Posts)
Strix Sun 18-Nov-12 09:58:47

Can Anyone point me to some OFSTED words on their view/approach/policy/etc. to continuity of care?

A you may know from my other thread, my childminder has been unjustly suspended by OFSTED. All of the parents are shocked an appalled at this poor judgement. And we are writing letters in support of of our beloved childminder/friend.

I am making the point that suspending her harms the children by breaking their continutiy of care. And I feel she should be allowed to work whilst they come and investigate, when they will no doubt discover what a truly fabulous childminder she is.

I am so upset with ofsted. I believe they mean well. But they caused havoc and not helped any... certainly not the children!

Anyway, if anyone could point me to some ofsted words on the importance of continuity of care, I would be most grateful. And, sorry to say, this letter must be written today so time is of the essence.

Thank you very much!

HSMM Sun 18-Nov-12 10:34:35

From your earlier post, I think they have suspended her on a safeguarding issue and this will have a higher priority than continuity of care.

Keep trying though ... it's lovely that you are supporting her this way.

Italiana Sun 18-Nov-12 11:13:38

If you read the Ofsted publication given by Mr Anchovy it is clear when Ofsted suspend a provider, it also says it will inform parents of the reason for the suspension
as a parent you must have received that letter and know Ofsted are investigatiing but all should be confidential so the c/ms is not identified at present, if an inspection is carried out the concern may be addressed in the report or may not if there is no evidence...that is how I take it from the Ofsted workshop attended yesterday

If their concerns are about safeguarding this will come before your 'continuity of care' question by which you mean you now have no cover

Strix Sun 18-Nov-12 12:11:25

I do not have a problem obtaining alternative care. It took me a grand total of about 5 minutes. My objection is that my son has been yanked from the carer he knows and loves. And that is not in his interest.

I accept that ofsted think they are safeguarding the children. But their decision is misguided at best. And they are in fact damaging the children by removing them from their usual carer.

My child is not at risk to harm. That is absolutely ludicrous. And I am going to fight to hill for my lovely childminder.

What is in question now for me, is not the safety of my child, but rather the credibility of ofsted to make decisions on behalf of children.

If ofsted want to investigate whilst they leave the children in their usual care, I'm okay with that. If they continue to keep my son from going to his much loved and superbly qualified childminder... I think I'll band together with the other parents and organise a temporary nanny share in which ofsted will have no role. It hasn't come to that yet. But, I'll do my part to organise it if it does.

What is best for my son, is to maintain his relationship with his carer. And I will make that happen with or without ofsted.

And this, for all who know me from nanny threadsd, is precisely why I staunchly oppose ofsted registration of nannies!

Strix Sun 18-Nov-12 12:20:12

Sorry, Mr. A, I did look at your link but must have missed what I am looking for... I am off to read properly now.

PS Say hello to Mrs A for me. Haven't seen her in AGES.

GrimAndHumourless Sun 18-Nov-12 12:34:48

There is stuff in the eyfs guidance, am on mob so cannot link , have a google

nannynick Sun 18-Nov-12 12:52:48

I wonder if it's worth looking through tribunal decisions to find cases where the tribunal has either not agreed with Ofsted over a suspension, or when the tribunal has agreed over a suspension.

Has your childminder been charged with GBH/ABA (I can't recall what the difference between those are - I think it may depend on the injury sustained) by the police? Have the police charged them with anything?

nannynick Sun 18-Nov-12 12:55:16

Care Standards Tribunal - Search Cases. Try looking under Schedule 7 cases.

Italiana Sun 18-Nov-12 13:06:25

As a parent have you been informed by Ofsted why the c/m has been supspended? she has not been unjustly suspended because the reason seem to be Child Protection...we don't know.
Ofsted would not suspend people willy nilly but are acting on something reported to them

I truly and sincerely hope that nothing is found by Ofsted and she can resume her job but think of the consequences if something was found to be wrong???

Unfortunately complaints can have justification while others are malicious...lets hope this one is the latter...what of the malicious complainant? nothing will be done because Ofsted do not require a name to be given in safeguarding complaints...learnt yesterday at the workshop
C/ms are very vulnerable in this area because we work on our own...hope all is resolved soon with good news

nannynick Sun 18-Nov-12 13:08:21

Childcare (Early Years and General Childcare Registers) (Common Provisions) Regulations 2008 Regulation 9 imposes an ongoing obligation upon the Respondent to monitor whether suspension is necessary. The Respondent is Ofsted in your case.

'Harm' is defined in Regulation 13 as having the same definition as in section 31 (9) of the Children Act 1989:
"ill-treatment or the impairment of health or development including, for example, impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another".

The Tribunal must "reasonably believes that the continued provision of child care by the registered person to any child may expose such a child to a risk of harm.The burden of proof is on the Respondent. The standard of proof ‘reasonable cause to believe’ falls somewhere between the balance of probability test and ‘reasonable cause to suspect’. The belief is to be judged by whether a reasonable person, assumed to know the law and possessed of the information, would believe that a child might be at risk."
(Quote is from MS v Ofsted, File: 2012/1970/EY-SUS)

Looks to me as though the tribunal looks at the date on which the suspension happened, so it looks at if it was reasonable to suspend the childminder at that time. It could also look at if continued suspension is suitable.

I don't know and can't quickly find any info about what the tribunal will consider about continuity of care. If you look through all the tribunal cases you may find something but I would suspect that the Risk of Harm situation needs to be resolved first.

Strix Sun 18-Nov-12 14:45:52

Thanks Nick for that link. I have read a few and.... wow those people have done some worrying things.

My childminder is SOOOOO nothing like them, which is why I find the suspension so shocking.

insancerre Sun 18-Nov-12 14:53:43

I am sure that you will find that Ofated have to follow proceedure. They can't decide on whether the suspension is justified or not. There will be a set proceedure to follow so that everyone is treated the same.
In safeguarding cases there can be no grey areas.

insancerre Sun 18-Nov-12 14:53:55


Italiana Sun 18-Nov-12 15:55:34

Nannynick In some cases of child protection/safeguarding someone else may be involved in the investigation, once that is finished Ofsted will inspect then move on ..another clarification given yesterday at the workshop

What is the point of talking about a tribunal when the investigation has just started...Ofsted must have reason for their action and should have informed the parents

nannynick Sun 18-Nov-12 16:17:33

Ofsted have an ongoing obligation to monitor whether suspension is necessary. That I feel applies from day 1 of the investigation. If at any point they feel suspension is no longer necessary it should be lifted.

Yes there are likely to be other agencies involved and Ofsted could well be waiting for them to make a decision - such as the police charging the CM with an offence.

I suspect nothing can be done for the first 6 weeks as to allow time for other agencies to investigate. After that time, if other agencies have made decisions, then Ofsted could have pressure put on them to make a decision (such as by going to tribunal). If other agencies are still making decisions, I expect the tribunal may permit an extension of the suspension, or they may not depending on the facts of the case.

At this stage I feel it is very helpful to read tribunal decisions to get a feel of what the tribunal feels is reasonable of Ofsted to do in these cases. That way once a reasonable time period has expired for the investigation, then the childminder can start to build a case for why their suspension should be lifted.

I have not said that the childminder should take things to tribunal at this early stage. However those people who want to support the childminder could help them by learning how the tribunal system works, what paperwork needs to be completed, what documents need to be produced at tribunal, what the tribunal looks at when a case of this time goes before them, and looking at the legislation concerned. Some of the childminder's clients may well be lawyers, solicitors, barristers, so they may be able to help their childminder with things the childminder does not know much about.

Italiana Sun 18-Nov-12 17:31:42

Another thing we learnt yesterday is that each case, inspection or report is may be hard to apply general rules as we will never know what the complaint is about unless proof found...thats how I understood it

Has the c/m contacted NCMA for instance if she is a member? they have a legal dept duty bound to support her, also her LA should support her because she is likely to have reported an 'allegation' against her and they should give her advice.
I know each LA has its own guidelines..hope she does that and gets professional help

apotomak Sun 18-Nov-12 19:06:38

Hate to say this but Ofsted will not lift the suspension until the investigation by all involved organisations has been closed. It can last a couple of weeks or longer. My friend had restrictions put on her registration because of a person who lived in her household was accused of something they didn't do. It took the police and Children's Services over 11 months to close the case and Ofsted took another couple of weeks to lift the restriction. A lot of heartache but it had to be done this way. Let them get on with the investigation. You will not be able to change their mind.

Strix Sun 18-Nov-12 20:31:48

I guess I don't understand why OFSTED has the power to go round willy nilly shutting people's lives down and not have to even explain themselves for 6 weeks.

There are no charges against childminder. She is not a criminal. She has not been aggressive towards anyone.

My issue is the suspension, and not the investigation, because when they do investigate they will no doubt discover how fantastic she is.

I understand there are circumstances where this course of action is a good thing. This is not one of them.

I have submitted a letter to OFSTED, copied the local authority, and encouraged others to do the same. I think I have done all I reasonably can at this point.

Thank you such for the advice. There is some good stuff here. But I remain go smacked at pfsted poor judgement, and the lack of accountability that apparently follows.

I am sad for the children, sad for the cm. and bloody angry with ofsted.

Italiana Sun 18-Nov-12 22:43:49

Strix Ofsted had a complaint, they are investigating it following procedures, one of them being the suspension of the c/m...that is not poor judgement but a response to do their job and look into it
Would you prefer they did not investigate? they would be crucified if they did that
They may find she is fantastic and innocent...their lead is the complaint and hopefully they will get to the bottom of it
You still have not said if, as a parent you have been informed...if you have you know they are doing their job and unsure wheter the c/m is getting professional support from those there to give it to her

Strix Mon 19-Nov-12 06:28:01

What complaint?

RosieGirl Mon 19-Nov-12 08:55:35

Strix good luck in helping you CM she is very lucky to have your support.

It does make my blood boil though, as much as I understand the duty of care OFSTED have towards children it always the easy target. At a meeting recently we were complaining about me amount of unregistered childminders popping up and what could be done, our DO said to report them to OFSTED, but I said that I know of a local lady who has illegally minded for 2 years now and each time someone reports her OFSTED just send a letter asking if she is childminding and she always says no and that's the end of it. She has proudly told us at playgroups that they have to prove it first.

Where is the safeguarding there?

Italiana Mon 19-Nov-12 09:48:14

Sorry Strix I understood you saying there was an incident which got reported to Ofsted...getting confusing now...but hope for the best

Strix Mon 19-Nov-12 09:53:31

Italiana, I am not objecting to the investigation. I am objecting to shutting her down for six weeks while they take their damned sweet time. Six weeks?

Guilty until proven innocent then. hmm

And what about the children? Do you think it is in their best interest to be yanked away whilst Ofsted piddles around sorting through their own red tape.

I think if you are going to take an action that has this kind of impact on the children/families/childminer and her staff, then you have a duty to act a bit faster. Hours... maybe days? Not weeks! And not without accountability for having caused all of this disruption to all of these people in an inexcusable error in judgement.

Strix Mon 19-Nov-12 09:58:59

Sorry, those posts crossed. The incident was not reported to ofsted, to my knowledge. Certainly not by those involved. However it is possible Ofsted has obtained information on her son's situation which according to thei own policies is not admisable in a suspension of her.

I really can't type any more on here.

But, she has called in the legal team of childminding what's it called organisation.

I am just trying to do everything in my power to assist her. If you knew her in real life, you would understand why I am so horrified that this could happen. There are childminders who should be suspended. She is absolutely not one of them.

givemushypeasachance Mon 19-Nov-12 13:01:15

You said before it was something to do with the teenage son's difficult behaviour and the childminder "snapping" - you've also said she wasn't aggressive to anyone, but Ofsted don't suspend childminders because they've had a verbal row with a teenage child. There has to be some concern that someone in the household is potentially not suitable to be around children; so either the childminder or a partner or other adult is alleged to have assaulted or mistreated someone to the point that there is a risk of harm to children, or the teenage son's behaviour has reached a point where they are considered a potential risk to the minded children (childminders have been suspended before when allegations of inappropriate behaviour have been made against teenage children, because that makes a member of the household unsuitable to be around children while it's investigated).

If it is safeguarding then your real issue here is with the safeguarding investigation - Ofsted can't investigate while the police and children's services are looking into an allegation of assault or whatever. They can only suspend the childminder to prevent the risk to children. And the childminder may be entirely innocent but if someone is alleged to have done something like assaulting a child then of course you can't just carry on and let them be in sole charge of several small children while that's being looked into - imagine this was someone you didn't know and what you'd think about that, it would be reckless beyond belief. The police and children's services can be quite slow to move investigations along, and that is dreadful, and the fact that these departments are left to investigate serious criminal allegations with skeleton staff and next to no budget is a scandal in itself, but this is most likely where the delay will be happening.

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