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Application Guidance Notes
To enable London Care Services (LCS) to fully assess Providers eligibility to register, mandatory supporting documentation needs to be submitted along with a completed online application. It is therefore important that you read the guidance notes before starting the application.
LCS manages a website
and secure web portal. The web portal holds a register of LCS approved providers of residential care homes and independent foster agencies who offer placements for looked after children and young people. LCS subscribing local authorities use the portal to search for placements that match the needs of their looked after children and young people.
The primary purpose of completing an application is to identify if you meet the criteria to register as an LCS approved provider.
The Association of London Directors of Children's Services (ALDCS) oversee the work of LCS and collectively set the criteria for registration.
LCS accept applications from services that are Ofsted registered only. This means they are based in England.
The applicant must upload or provide the following mandatory supporting information to demonstrate that the registration criteria is met:
Ofsted Certificate of Registration (for each Resource)
Rated 'Outstanding', 'Good' or 'Requires Improvement' (for each Resource)
LCS will review the most recent Ofsted Inspection Report for each resource by visiting
The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills
NB. Resources rated 'Requires Improvement' with an interim inspection showing 'declined in effectiveness' do not meet the criteria set by ALDCS
Statement of Purpose (for each Provider; legal entity)
Aims and objectives must be child focused and demonstrate how the provider will meet outcomes
Full Financial Accounts for the last two years
Audited financial accounts must be uploaded where the organisation has at least two of the following:
An annual turnover of more than £10.2m
Assets worth more than £5.1m
50 or more employees on average
Abbreviated accounts will not be accepted
If operating for less than two years, Provider must upload the following:
A statement of the cash flow forecast for the current year and a bank letter outlining the current cash and credit position, or
Alternative means of demonstrating financial status if any of the above are not available (e.g. Forecast of turnover for the current year and a statement of funding provided by the owners and/or the bank, charity accruals accounts or an alternative means of demonstrating financial status).
Insurance (for Provider, and/or each Resource, where applicable)
Required insurance levels;
Employers Liability (£10m)
Public Liability (£5m)
Professional Indemnity (£1m)
Sexual Abuse and Molestation cover (£1m)
Malpractice Insurance (£1m) only where nursing care is provided
Meeting the Criteria
LCS will only consider applications where providers have uploaded mandatory supporting documentation. Applications submitted without this will be automatically declined.
What happens after an application is submitted
After an application has been submitted an acknowledgement email is sent to the provider. This email indicates that an application has been received. It is not formal acceptance or agreement of approval.
Please check your 'junk/spam' email inbox for emails from 'London.CareServices@londoncouncils.gov.uk' and whitelist the email address to ensure correspondence is received.
If the application is successful, LCS will carry out activity by email and telephone calls to enable an agreement on the resource/s to be registered and fees.
LCS will ask the provider to sign and return a Service Specification (Schedule 1a or 1b), which will then be made available to LCS subscribing local authorities via the secure portal.
A letter will be emailed to the provider confirming that they are an LCS approved provider.
The registration process takes a minimum of 4-6 weeks.
Applications submitted without mandatory supporting documentation will be considered unsuccessful and automatically declined.
If the application is declined during activity carried out by email and telephone calls to enable an agreement on the resource/s to be registered and fees, LCS will send the provider an email stating the reasons for declining the application. Providers can:
Accept the decision knowing that LCS gave the application due consideration.
Reapply, provided that the original reasons for the decline have been addressed.
Appeal against LCS decision. If the provider chooses to appeal, they have 28 days following the date of the email declining the application, to write to LCS setting out a concise summary of the grounds of appeal against the decision. LCS will respond within 10 working days.
If the provider is not satisfied with LCS response they can submit a complaint using London Councils complaints procedures by following this link
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