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4Children to close

Charity to cease trading and transfer services to Action for Children

Children’s charity 4Children is to cease trading and transfer some services to Action for Children, it has been announced.

The two national charities will merge with 62 per cent of 4Children’s services moving across to Action for Children. In addition, 35 per cent of services will transfer to local authority control or to alternate providers with just four settings facing closure.

Imelda Redmond CBE, Chief Executive of 4Children, said: “The decision to merge many of our services with Action for Children has been made in the long term interest of children and families.
Recent changes in our contract portfolio and broader funding pressures have led trustees to pursue this managed transfer, which will strengthen the position of frontline services to withstand these pressures while continuing to deliver high quality support.”

Sir Tony Hawkhead, Chief Executive of Action for Children, said: “The operating environment for charities is increasingly challenging. The overriding aim of our discussions is to maintain the best possible services for the children and families we support. Greater collaboration within the sector is something many charities are investigating and this announcement supports that approach. I look forward to welcoming 4Children families and the members of staff who support them across the UK.”

However, despite their combined pledge for continuity for families, one online commentator slammed the announcement as “utter shambles and a disgrace”. He added: "Your comments and actions contradict everything that your so-called company are displaying. Giving the staff and parents ONE DAYS NOTICE that they do not have a job and the parents do not have a nursery, how does that bring continuity and stability to families and your loyal staff?”

Another responded to the announcement adding: “Please explain how this is in the 'best interests' of the children at Little Rays in Ashford, a local nursery serving local families who will find it almost impossible to find a nursery able to offer the same with space. You haven't given my girls a chance to say goodbye, they will never understand why they cannot return to their nursery, a place they felt so happy. In fact, I cannot think of a more disruptive, unsettling and hurtful way you could have done this!! Our family relied on the support from the nursery, we have now been left in an awful position.”

Children’s commissioner for England Anne Longfield was previously the chief executive of 4Children prior to her current role being announced in November 2014.

The announcement follows the closure of Kids Company in August 2015 following allegations of financial mismanagement at the hands of founder and chief executive Camila Batmanghelidjh. The British Association of Adoption and Fostering announced its closure the same month citing “significant changes and economic conditions” which made it impossible for the charity to continue offering its services.


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