Entries for the 2017 Social Worker of the Year Awards are open! Visit our website for more information & to download entry forms #SWA17

Achieving  for Children, Referral & Assessment Team

Team of the Year, Children's Services



“Richmond’s Referral and Assessment Team is run by Achieving for Children, a community interest company responsible for delivering children’s services. The team is responsible for all statutory Single Assessments and Child Protection Investigations within the borough.


The 17-strong team have put considerable work into achieving key performance targets, whilst maintaining high quality engagement with families. They developed a questionnaire to gain feedback from service users and families on the service they receive and a considerable effort is made by the team to positively engage fathers and put the child’s voice at the centre of their practice.


Strengthening multi-agency relationships, particularly in pre-birth assessment work, has also been a big focus. This has led to the earlier identification of cases, an increase in pre-birth assessments and earlier planning to identify alternative family members who could potentially care for the baby.


One of the team’s main assets is its stability, ensuring consistency for service users. Morale is particularly high and the team is the most stable in the borough, with the only staff movement occurring through internal transfer or promotion. The team is also deeply committed to continuing professional development, regular supervision sessions and ensuring its social workers have manageable caseloads.”


What was said about the team


“The Referral and Assessment Team have shown excellence and commitment to their work. They uphold high levels of professionalism and have embraced the flexibility offered by Achieving for Children, driving forward positive change within the service.”
        Dean Woodward, Head of Service Safeguarding and Family Support,
      London Borough of Richmond upon Thames


“Morale, stability and an extremely high quality of work shone through in this entry. They are an experimental, innovative team that is striving to be a model for the rest of the borough.”
        Annie Hudson, Chief Executive,
        The College of Social Work


“We found ourselves in an awful situation and had trouble keeping pace with our own emotions. The team were, at all times, professional, compassionate, communicative, sincere and reassuring. We are so grateful to them for their calm depth and understanding.”
        Service user


“This is a team that’s performing extremely well. They are clearly being very effective in a demanding area of children’s social work.”
        Sarah Read O’Toole, Director of Children’s Services,
        Skylakes Social Work



  • Dave Hill, Essex County Council
  • Annie Hudson, The College of Social Work
  • Dr Maggie Atkinson, Children’s Commissioner for England
  • Val Floy, The Children’s Society
  • Sarah Read-O’Toole, Skylakes Social Work



  • Behaviour Resource Service, Southampton City Council – SILVER WINNER
  • Children’s Social Care Duty Team, Nottingham City Council
  • Operational Management Team, Cafcass
  • Achieving for Children Referral and Assessment Team, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames – GOLD WINNER