How we inspect children’s homes

Information and guidance about how we inspect children’s homes.

From October 2016 we changed the way we inspect children’s homes.

Reference to ‘Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales’ (CSSIW) in the documents on this page should be read as ‘Care Inspectorate Wales'.

  • What is different?

    • A revised inspection framework focuses on people’s well-being outcomes
    • Changes to inspection reports, making them more accessible and providing clearer conclusions about the quality of care people received (These are not published on our website)

  • What we check and report

    When our inspectors visit a care service, they will consider four core themes:

    • Well-being
    • Care and support
    • Environment
    • Leadership and management

  • How often we inspect

    We inspect children’s homes every year as part of our rolling programme.

    We have two types of inspections: full and focused.

    Full inspections

    These are routine inspections, planned as part of our inspection schedule. Full inspections take place approximately six months after a newly registered service becomes operational. After that, we inspect once every year.

    Focused inspections

    These normally happen when concerns are raised or to follow up on areas of improvement identified at previous inspections. These inspections may only look at some aspects of a service.

    All our inspections are unannounced, although in exceptional circumstances, we may call a day or so in advance to minimise any disruption or distress and to check which days and times may be the best time to visit.

  • Self Assessment of Service Statement (SASS) and annual quality review of care

    More information about completing your SASS  is available on our ' SASS' page.

  • Help for providers

    We have produced an inspection handbook for adult and children’s homes services and frameworks of what we will inspect against.


Download documents

On this site

Concerns about care? Please let us know if you have any concerns about us, a service, or a member of care staff. Raise a concern