Royal Borough to decide on outsourcing children's services

Reporter:

David Lee

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The day-to-day running of the Royal Borough’s children’s services could be handed over to community interest company Achieving for Children.

Cabinet is set to discuss the proposals at its next meeting on Thursday.

Back in March, the borough confirmed its commitment to delivering children’s services through a community interest company and has since been carrying out due diligence work.

Achieving for Children is owned by the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames and the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames.

The move would see the borough become an equal shareholder in the company.

If approved, the borough says it wants the services to be transferred from April 1, 2017.

Cllr Natasha Airey, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Making sure children and young people are safe, happy and given the best opportunities to thrive is one of the most important roles we play as a council.

“The services we provide must always be delivered in the best way possible and through carefully exploring our options we firmly believe that Achieving for Children will allow just that.

“Families will notice very little difference in the way that services are run, and if we decide to formally agree to implement this partnership, residents and our staff will benefit from an improving service.

“We firmly believe that Achieving for Children will give us the people, resources and shared expertise to meet the higher standards we aspire to."

Alison Alexander, managing director and director of adult, children and health services, added: “Decisions such as these are not taken lightly and are always made with the interests of our residents and staff as an absolute priority.

“If the decision is approved, we will be part of a larger specialist children’s organisation which can offer stronger and better provision which ultimately will create a better service for our residents.”

If the decision is approved, staff will continue to work in Royal Borough offices but will be employed by Achieving for Children. There are currently 277 staff within the children’s directorate.

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