NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service) has published a report on the history of Regulation 44 Visitors who carry out independent visits to residential children’s homes. The UK Government is currently considering a recommendation by the independent review of children’s social care on the future of the role.

Regulation 44 sits within the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015 and requires an independent person to visit a children’s residential home once a month. This is to make sure that children and young people are being kept safe where they live.


What did the Care Review say?

The independent review of children’s social care for England said that independent, opt-out, high quality advocacy for children in care and in proceedings should replace the existing Independent Reviewing Officer and Regulation 44 Visitor roles.

However, what advocates and Regulation 44 Visitors do is very different. Advocates empower the voices of children and young people while Regulation 44 Visitors take a more holistic view of a home’s practices.


Why was Regulation 44 created?

Why Regulation 44 was created is exactly why the role must continue: to keep children safe. Regulation 44 was brought into force because of the Rochdale scandal, in which six girls suffered sexual exploitation between 2007 and 2010. It can be upsetting to know why safeguarding roles were created, but NYAS believes revisiting history will remind the government of the importance of the role.

Next steps

The UK Government had previously committed to publishing an implementation strategy to reform the social care system before the year’s end, but the minister for children has confirmed it is now due to be published in early 2023.

If the Care Review recommendation to remove Regulation 44 visits is taken forward by the government, children will lose a vital safeguard where they live.


Find out more about the Care Review