Manchester City Council

Cheshire East Council

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Bevan Brittan advises county council on launch of children's services company

Law firm Bevan Brittan has advised Worcestershire County Council on the development and launch of a new children’s services company, Worcestershire Children First.

In September 2017, following a report from the Worcestershire Children's Commissioner, the Department for Education directed that Worcestershire County Council should move the operational delivery of social care services for children to an alternative delivery model.

Worcestershire Children First is the new company responsible for delivering children’s services on behalf of the county council.

Launched on 1 October 2019, the company is wholly owned by the council and is responsible for the delivery of services such as children’s social care, education, early help and foster care. 

The Bevan Brittan team, led by partner Judith Barnes and senior associate Kirtpal Kaur Aujla advised Worcestershire on the business case, setting up the company structure and putting in place commissioning and delivery arrangements between the authority and Worcestershire Children First over the course of a five-year contract.

The team also provided advice on issues including powers, commissioning, performance and governance arrangements.

Alternative delivery models for the provision of children’s services have now been set up in 10 local authority areas. Bevan Brittan has advised authorities in Birmingham, Doncaster, Sandwell, as well as Achieving for Children.

Judith Barnes and Kirtpal Kaur Aujla said: “We are very pleased to have supported Worcestershire County Council in the challenging task of establishing a new company to deliver children’s services.

“There is now a clear framework and leadership structure in place to deliver the requirements of the Secretary of State's latest direction and to focus on the important role of providing first rate children’s services - including helping children most in need of protection and care.”

Around 800 staff and a portfolio of 20 properties have been transferred from Worcestershire County Council to Worcestershire Children First.  

Cllr Andy Roberts, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Children and Families at Worcestershire County Council said: “The new company will help us to continue to improve the way children’s services are delivered, and build on the substantial improvement to services that was recognised by OFSTED in their latest inspection.”

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