Achieving for Children (AfC) is an award-winning social enterprise providing services for children in Kingston, Richmond and beyond. They are expanding their services to additional local authority areas, helping to create a shared language and to identify best practice across the authorities. AfC is also developing two multidisciplinary services operating in a cluster model to provide a joined-up, child-centred offer of support. The 24/7 Protection, Assessment and Support service joins up Protection and Early Help (PEH) and children’s social care. A Young Person’s Resilience Service will also provide multidisciplinary support to adolescents most at risk of becoming looked after.
Extending the AfC model to other local authorities will help to build an understanding of the role of alternative delivery models in improving children’s services. Services in AfC are organised into a central team spread across Kingston and Richmond, with three clusters to deliver support across three defined geographical areas. They will increase social worker numbers to build capacity in child protection teams, and increase intensive direct-work time. AfC will also be investing in systematic family therapists to capitalise on the co-location of the multidisciplinary teams.
AfC are supporting local authorities that are at risk of failure through a diagnostic phase, and by co-designing improvement plans. They will also establish a Performance, Delivery and Innovation (PDI) unit and develop a pipeline of practice leaders for the sector. This is achieved by establishing a subsidiary of Achieving for Children, AfC Connect, and a Practice Leadership Academy.