Published Thursday 3 August 2017

Children and their families will benefit from a stronger and more resilient children’s services offer from the Royal Borough after the transfer into Achieving for Children (AfC) began this week.

On Tuesday 1 August employees began their first working day under the new model which will see them deliver the same valued service, but now as employees of a larger organisation with more scope for sharing best practice and expertise.

AfC was founded by the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames as a community interest company to deliver children’s services and improve standards.

The Royal Borough agreed to join as an owner of AfC last year. Following approval from Kingston and Richmond and work behind-the-scenes to ensure everything was prepared for employees the transfer has now completed.

Cllr Natasha Airey, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “This is an exciting time for us as a council and our children’s services employees who have joined the award-winning team at Achieving for Children.

“By delivering this vital service through Achieving for Children we will be able to benefit from the increased pool of skills that comes from a larger organisation, while keeping the relationships and local knowledge our teams have with local families.

“After a lot of work behind-the-scenes to introduce everyone to their new colleagues we are confident this will put us in a stronger position to continue working hard to give all children the best possible start in life.”

Cllr Simon Dudley, leader of the council, said: "This is a great step forward as we look at new ways to deliver excellent services for our residents and I am thankful to our own employees and their new colleagues in Kingston and Richmond for all of their work to make this transition possible."

Nick Whitfield, chief executive of Achieving for Children, said: “We’re really pleased to be welcoming colleagues from the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead into the company.

“Growing AfC in this way will benefit the children and young people we serve by enabling us to share best practice across a wider area, as well as give our staff more opportunities to develop and progress.”

Through the partnership, children’s services will be delivered through AfC but continue to be accountable through the council’s democratic process. 

On a day-to-day basis, the children and families the council works with will notice little change, other than the logo on name badges, as employees will still work from the same council buildings and continue to deliver the same services.