This handbook sets out the legal background to Ofsted compliance work and their powers. It is used in regulation of adoption support agencies, children’s homes, residential holiday schemes for disabled children, independent fostering agencies, residential family centres and voluntary adoption agencies. While it is written for use by internal Ofsted staff it is published to enable providers, managers and interested parties to understand Ofsted’s compliance processes. The ‘Quick guide’ to the handbook contains an overview of the key elements of the compliance work, including how Ofsted receive information about concerns and the initial action that they take in response. Subsequent sections contain more detailed information about each of Ofsted compliance powers and how they make decisions, and must be referred to in conjunction with the ‘Quick guide’.