The NFA Group, a portfolio company of Stirling Square Capital Partners (“Stirling Square”), today announces the acquisition of Outcomes First Group (“Outcomes First”).
The NFA Group is a leading provider of specialist childcare services in the United Kingdom. In 2016, the National Fostering Agency completed the acquisition of Acorn Care and Education Limited, adding special educational needs (“SEN”) schooling to its range of services and creating the NFA Group. Today, the NFA Group is pleased to build on that success with the acquisition of Outcomes First.
Outcomes First is recognised as a high-quality provider of education and care services to young people and adults with autism, learning disabilities and other complex educational and care needs. It will add 13 schools across the United Kingdom to the NFA Group’s existing 21 schools.
The acquisition complements the NFA Group’s existing capabilities and geographic reach in the SEN space, enabling the combined group to better serve the needs of vulnerable young people and looked after children and substantially improve their life chances. The combined group will care for and educate nearly 6,500 children, young people and adults across the United Kingdom.
David Leatherbarrow, CEO of the NFA Group stated: “I am delighted to complete the acquisition of Outcomes First and welcome them into the NFA Group family. This acquisition will enhance the NFA Group’s ability to provide an integrated pathway of care supporting children, young people and adults across fostering, education and residential care. It reaffirms and expands our commitment to building incredible futures for vulnerable young people in the United Kingdom.”
Jonathan Heathcote of Stirling Square added: “I am very pleased to welcome Outcomes First to the NFA Group family. The combination of the two businesses creates a leading childcare services group in the United Kingdom providing the highest quality outcomes for the children in its care.”
Stirling Square was advised by Jefferies International Limited (M&A) and Dickson Minto (legal).
Acorn is a leading high quality children’s services provider, offering special needs education (SEN), residential and foster care, for children and young adults with complex needs.
4 August 2016, London – The National Fostering Agency (“NFA”) , a portfolio company of Stirling Square Capital Partners, today announces the acquisition of Acorn Care and Education Limited (“Acorn”) from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
Established in 2005, Acorn has built a reputation as a high quality children’s services provider, offering special needs education (SEN), residential and foster care, for children and young adults with complex needs. Acorn builds its care around the unique situation and individual circumstances of each child.
NFA is a leading provider of independent fostering services, helping to support Local Authorities meet their statutory sufficiency duty to provide safe and secure foster homes for those children and young people for whom they have a legal responsibility.
The acquisition will add residential and SEN capabilities to NFA’s existing fostering services, enabling the combined group to offer more ways to improve the life chances for vulnerable and looked after children and young people. While NFA and Acorn will continue to focus on their individual operations, the combined organisation will be responsible for 5.8% of looked after children placements nationally. Acorn’s fostering arm is a good geographic fit for NFA, enabling capacity growth in a somewhat fragmented independent provider sector.
Iain Anderson, Group Chief Executive for NFA said “There are currently over 93,000 looked after children in the United Kingdom of whom 55,400 are with foster families registered with either a Local Authority or an Independent Fostering Provider. Fostering Network, an established charity in the sector, noted in January 2016 there was a national shortfall of 9,070 foster carers.
Support to children’s services is provided by a range of public sector and independent providers and it is essential we ensure the resources needed for the care of looked after children are maintained and readily available. Working with the specialist teams at Acorn will help us provide a broad range of these much needed quality resources for the care, education and future development of vulnerable children.