North West entrepreneur bucks Brexit blues in 24-month role leading to successful exit


Riz Khan, Manchester based children’s health and social care specialist, has concluded a successful exit of the UK’s 3rd largest provider of children’s foster care and education services.

From joining the Partnerships in Children’s Services [PICS] group as Chairman in January 2017, Khan has worked alongside the management team to improve the operation, which concluded on Thursday with its merger with Core Assets Group [CAG]. Combined, the agencies are now the second largest provider of fostering services in the UK.

“The number of children coming into care is growing year on year and the demand for quality fostering families is reaching crisis point”

explains Khan.

“I was invited to take on the role of Chairman for the PICS group as fundamentally it was a well-respected fostering services provider but the operation needed help to become efficient and scalable.

My focus was on delivering the very best outcomes for the children in our care and achieving first class service delivery for our local authority partners, whilst future- proofing the operation in what is a very complex market – demand is high, supply of quality carers is low. Combine this with pressures on local authority budgets to drive spend down versus the sharp increase in acuity of the needs of the young people coming into care and the additional and specialist support that this requires.”

Khan’s approach was to look at management and front line delivery structure as well as systems, processes, governance and associated future growth opportunities.

“If we are to deliver best value we need to be getting the most from staff and suppliers. There were clear efficiencies to be made, which allowed for reinvestment in quality assurance and front line support for local teams, carers and children.”

This remarkable success story made the group an attractive platform for future growth.

“We established an ambitious yet achievable 5 year plan which included diversification into complementary services and growth – both organic and by acquisition. Growth is not about profits, it’s about achieving economies of scale and best value for local authorities through a specialist shared services model, ensuring every child has a safe place to go at the point of crisis. It is our duty to protect societies most vulnerable.”

Riz Khan, who has a 25-year track record of business growth and transformation, is the lead partner at Inspire Capital, an investment fund specialising in the health and social care sector. He was the founder of Advanced Childcare comprising 180 specialist residential services across the UK including day schools, residential education, children’s homes and fostering agencies which latterly concluded in a merger with a large healthcare provider and flotation on the London Stock Exchange. He is currently Cofounder of Sanctum and Care 4 Children.