Social care common inspection framework (SCCIF): children’s homes


This inspection framework, developed by the UK's Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted), provides guidance about how children’s homes are inspected, for use from April 2019. The first principle of inspection is to focus on the things that matter most to children’s lives. The SCCIF is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ framework. The evaluation criteria are broadly consistent across the different types of children’s social care services but they reflect the unique nature of each type of service. 


The social care common inspection framework (SCCIF) applies to inspections of:

  • children’s homes
  • secure children’s homes
  • independent fostering agencies
  • boarding schools and residential special schools
  • voluntary adoption agencies
  • adoption support agencies
  • residential family centres
  • residential holiday schemes for disabled children
  • residential provision in further education colleges

The SCCIF means that:

  • we apply the same judgement structure across the range of settings listed above
  • the experiences and progress of children and other service users, wherever they live or receive help, are central to inspections
  • there are key areas of evidence that we usually report on at each inspection

The SCCIF isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ framework. When it’s necessary, the SCCIF reflects and addresses the unique and distinct aspects of each type of setting. However, the evaluation criteria we use to make judgements and the accompanying guidance are, wherever possible, consistent across settings.