Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

10th May 2017

How do I start converting a farm into a residential home?

Hi Sheila,

I am currently working as a Social Worker but having recently lost my Dad to cancer I am considering starting up a residential home for adults/children with learning difficulties. My Dad left behind a farm and 50 acres of land and it has always been my dream to create a wellbeing centre or residential home to support vulnerable people in society and I thought that his farm could be perfect for this (in time with some work). I'm not sure where to start and wondered whether you could point me in the right direction please.

Many thanks and regards,


Dear Matt,

Thank you for your question and it is very interesting to hear of your plans which sound truly wonderful.

I can only advise you about setting up a service for adults. The regulation of children's homes is undertaken by OFSTED.

You should be able to find almost all you need to know on the Care Quality Commission (CQC) website. CQC is responsible for registering all care homes providing personal care.

You should begin I think by looking at the document "Scope of Registration"

and also at the registration documents that you would have to complete:

There is another useful document on the CQC website about how you as a provider would go about meeting the regulations:

There would be a lot for you to learn but you already have experience and a qualification both of which would be relevant to running a care service.

There is one more thing; between December 2016 and February 2017 CQC consulted the sector about some changes they are proposing to make. Having consulted we are still waiting to hear their response to the consultation.

I mention this because in the document there was some specific reference to services for people with learning disabilities. Page 19 is the part I am referring to and you can locate the document here:

All good wishes for the future.


*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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