Can a 21 year old be in charge of a residential care home? | QCS

Can a 21 year old be in charge of a residential care home, level 3 qualified.. And the only other member of staff was 17 years old.. ‘m asking this question because I was put in a situation that I believe was wrong on so many levels..
I was finishing my shift, when a client had to go to hospital. I’m 37 years old and hold level 4 in social care.. I could not get hold of the manager, so I had to send a member of staff to hospital.. However, once my shift had finished, the home would only be staff by young adults.. 21 & 17.. I decided to stay on until the manger and another member of staff could take over.

Sheila Scott
Answered by Sheila Scott

Dear Kelly,

I believe that you are describing an emergency situation that could not have been anticipated.

You did exactly the right thing in staying on if you were concerned that this specific 21 year old did not have the experience or expertise to be left in charge.

Being 21 should not bar someone from being left in charge, nor indeed from being a Registered Manager.

I am assuming that you risk assessed (probably not formally)the situation and decided that you would stay on duty until someone more senior was able to take over from you.

If possible, with the Manager, you should learn from this incident and if possible develop a specific policy in case such a thing happens again.

Best wishes.


About Sheila Scott

Sheila Scott OBE from 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. 3. Read more

Related Questions