Children, Families and Lifelong Learning

Leadership Team

Our vision

We support families and enable children and young people to be and feel safe, healthy and make good choices about their wellbeing.

We aim to ensure that Surrey's children and families have access to a range of services that tackle inequalities, support independence and enhance lives.

  • Rachael Wardell, Executive Director for Children, Families and Lifelong Learning
  • Matt Ansell, Director for Family Resilience and Safeguarding
  • Tina Benjamin, Director for Corporate Parenting
  • Patricia Denney, Director for Quality and Performance
  • Julia Katherine, (Interim) Director for Education and Lifelong Learning
  • Lucy Clements, (Interim) Director for Commissioning and Transformation

If you would like to submit a complaint please contact the Children's Customer Relations Team:

Please use the index below to jump to information further down this page.

Family resilience and safeguarding

We are responsible for delivering frontline social care services and support for children and families, particularly the services that aim to support children and young people to be safe in their family. This includes, Early Help, children in need, and children subject to child protection plans. We are leading the way in implementing the Family Safeguarding Model, which integrates support from different professional specialisms, to ensure the children and their family have the right support at the right time.

We also have our children's single point of access (CSPA), that provides residents and people who work with children in Surrey with direct information, advice and guidance about where and how to find the appropriate support for children and families.

Corporate parenting

We are responsible for delivering frontline social care services and support for children and families, particularly for children who are in our care, or have been previously and moved on. This includes children in care and care leavers, Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking children, Fostering, Adoption, Children's Homes, Virtual School, Hope service and children with additional needs and disabilities. The Corporate Parenting Board ensures that Surrey County Council is fulfilling its responsibility as a 'Corporate Parent' to achieve the best for children and young people in our care and care leavers.

Quality and performance

We are the checks and balance division, enabling independence, scrutiny and challenge of services within children, families and lifelong learning, in order to drive and support service improvements and strategic planning. We are responsible for a range of functions including operational services such as Independent Chairs Service, Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), Safeguarding in Education, wider Quality Practice and Performance teams, User Voice and Participation and policy and planning. We also host the Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership and Children's Services Academy.

Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership

The Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership is a partnership of all the different organisations working to protect children and young people across the county.

Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership

Surrey Children's Services Academy

The Surrey Children's Services Academy (SCSA) provides a range of partnership safeguarding workshops for practitioners, managers and volunteers working with children, young people and their families in Surrey.

Surrey Children's Services Academy

Education and Lifelong Learning

We work in partnership with local education providers to ensure Surrey children, young people and adults have access to education, and to ensure vulnerable learners are supported to achieve their potential. This includes admissions and transport, services for children with additional needs and disabilities, Active Surrey, Place Planning – identifying future school places to meet demand, Surrey Adult Learning and Surrey Outdoor Learning and Development (SOLD). Our systems and transformation service helps to drive continuous improvement.


We will have strategic overview of all external spends in the directorate, ensuring that there is an understanding of need and outcome and an appraisal of the best means of delivery before we invest council money. To do this effectively the unit will monitor the performance of Children, Families and Lifelong Learning and contracts and the quality of practice with children, with specific responsibility in relation to social care practice.

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