Number of Staff


Children are looked after by staff who are themselves supported and guided in safeguarding and promoting the children's welfare.

The principles involved in this procedure are to ensure that every Home meets its operational needs and has sufficient staff required to implement the Statement of Purpose.

The numbers of staff per Home are as follows:

  • A Children's Home Manager;
  • Three Senior Care Officers or equivalent if there are part-time staff;
  • Seven and a half Care Officers or equivalent if there are more than one part-time staff;
  • One Domestic or equivalent if s/he is a part-time worker.

The aim is to have Senior cover at all times. In the absence of senior cover, a Care Officer will act up as shift leader.

  • A minimum of two care staff will be on full shift (twenty four and a half hours), including sleeping in over night, on a daily basis;
  • Additional Care Officers will support the above Staff, working early or late "flexi" shifts. "Flexi" shifts will be organised according to the needs of the Home;
  • Each Home will agree shift starting and finishing times. Shifts may start between 12.30pm and 1.30pm. This would have an effect on the conclusion of the shift as a result of the need to work sixteen and a half hours over two days;
  • If the need arises to cover gaps in the rota, due to sickness, leave or training, cover will be sought by using Relief or Casual Care Officers, requesting part-time Staff to work additional hours, requesting full-time staff to change shifts or offering over-time;
  • If a Senior or Care officer is on long-term sick absence, a temporary appointment will be made at the earliest opportunity;
  • Wherever possible, Homes will seek to have a gender balance. The intent would be to achieve a balance of role models within the Home;
  • A Senior Care Officer, with relevant supervisory experience, will deputise for the Home Manager in his or her absence;
  • All Care Staff working in the Home will be trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention and will receive regular refreshers;
  • Domestic support will be available during the day, five days a week;
  • Children and young people will be informed who will be sleeping in over night in the Home;
  • A Manager or Senior Care Officer from a Home may request support or assistance from another Home in difficult situations;
  • If additional staff, to the staff matrix, are needed, the Home Manager will seek agreement from the Service Development Manager or the Principal Child Care Manager;
  • In exceptional circumstances, Agency Staff may be brought in to ensure adequate staffing levels.

The respite service Home provided at the present by Lime Tree Court will include "wake-over" staff, additional to the staffing matrix. It will also have only one Care Staff sleeping in over night.