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Councils pick up nearly 2,000 cases from defunct Kids Company

Nearly 2,000 cases have been handed over from the defunct Kids Company charity to local authorities, who are now reviewing details to determine what support is needed, a National Audit Office (NAO) investigation found today (29 October).

Before the NAO launched an investigation into the failed charity in September, the LGA warned that councils would be tasked with “picking up the pieces”.

It has now been revealed that 1,699 cases were passed to local authorities in London, while Bristol took over 210 cases. The Cabinet Office has provided £200,000 to councils to support young people’s transition to other services.

The auditor also found examples in the organisation’s accounts of receipts of up to £25,000 from individual schools. The charity said it gave students psychological support in more than 40 schools.

But the Cabinet Office told the NAO that people previously supported through the Kids Company’s schools programme will be supported by appropriate school staff.

On 6 August, when the charity shut its doors after running out of money, the strategic director for people at Bristol City Council, John Readman, said: “I would reassure everyone that we are well-placed to this loss both with good quality council provision and a wealth of excellent local organisations which work with young people.”

When it was running, the high-profile charity worked with up to 36,000 children, young people and their family members.

Camila Batmanghelidjh, the charity’s founder, blamed its closure on ministers, the media and “rumour-mongering civil servants”, but there had already been concerns over how public funds were being spent.

And today, the NAO concluded that the charity received at least £46m of public funding, £2m of which came from councils. Whitehall grants provided £42m of the funding while the remaining £2m came in grants from Lottery bodies.

The Department for Communities and Local Government was one of the four departments to have made significant contributions between 2013 and 2015, alongside the Cabinet Office, the Department of Health and the Department for Work & Pensions.

(Top image c. Anthony Devlin/PA)


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