The UK’s leading providers of specialist children’s services unite

NFA Group and Outcomes First Group have united, creating the UK’s leading provider of outcomes-led learning, life skills, and therapeutic care for children with complex needs including Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) and autism

The newly formed Outcomes First Group operates a national network of award-winning, DfE registered specialist schools and therapeutic care homes. These services are delivered under the brands Acorn Care and Education, Hillcrest and Options Autism as well as the National Fostering Group, the largest independent fostering provider in the UK.

Outcomes First Group employs in the region of 4,400 people. Each individual team member shares a common goal; to improve the lives of the 6,500 young people in the group’s care, their families and communities through a relentless focus on caring and learning.

Across the UK, Outcomes First Group owns and operates:

  • 37 schools;
  • 77 residential homes;
  • 28 fostering agencies.

Outcomes First Group CEO, David Leatherbarrow, commented: “Bringing our two organisations together allows us to build on the range of education we provide to children and young people nationwide. Our ability has now increased to offer a broader integrated pathway of care as an enabler for improved independence and supporting whole life education and care. We remain fully committed to caring for the children in our schools, homes and fostering families and also those in our small, specialist adult learning and care services.”

Leatherbarrow concluded: “Our ambition is to continue to lead our sector in setting and delivering new approaches that provide measurable outcomes for those in our care. Our plans for organic growth will continue with expansion and the opening of new services, and we will be recognised as the best at what we do – offering specialist nationwide services to support vulnerable young people across the UK, empowering each individual to lead a fulfilling life.”

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