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Councils to help ‘pick up the pieces’ after Kids Company closure

Councils will help to “pick up the pieces” after the children’s charity Kids Company closed its doors yesterday evening, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said. 

The charity, which supported severely abused and traumatised children, closed its doors at 7pm after running out of money. Camila Batmanghelidjh, the charity’s founder, told BBC Radio 4's The Report that “rumour-mongering civil servants”, ministers and the media had “put the nail in the coffin”. 

There had been concerns over how public funds were being spent by the organisation. The charity, which immediately ended its work with 40 schools in London and Bristol, had been given a £3m government grant a week ago. 

The Cabinet Office grant was made on the condition that Batmanghelidjh agreed to step down as part of a reorganisation. Reports suggest the charity had to fold after donors withdrew funding when it emerged the charity was facing a police investigation over child protection issues. 

A spokesperson for the Cabinet Office said: “The government has supported Kids help it deliver services for vulnerable young people and so we are disappointed it has been unable to move to a sustainable financial position. 

“The welfare of these young people continues to be our primary concern and we are now working closely with local authorities to make sure they have access to the services they require.” 

In a statement yesterday evening, Batmanghelidjh (pictured) said the charity had been forced to close, which “we do with profound sadness”. She said: “Our children, staff, and volunteers supported by trustees and extraordinarily generous donors, have over the last 19 years helped create an inspirational community committed to recovery and love. The catastrophic abandonment of children who are suffering is a testimony to our collective moral failing.”

Kids C 

Cllr David Simmonds CBE, an LGA spokesperson, said that up and down the country, councils regularly work with charities and the voluntary sector to provide services to children “and in situations when things go wrong, they will always be there to pick up the pieces”. 

He added: “When a charity such as Kids Company closes, and it has been providing services commissioned by a council, we will ensure that any vulnerable users are identified and supported appropriately.” 

Bristol City Council, where at least 40 children are expected to be affected by the closing down of Kids Company, has promised to step in where vulnerable children have been caught up in the charity's closure. 

John Readman, strategic director for people at Bristol City Council, said: “I would reassure everyone that we are well-placed to respond to this loss both with good quality council provision and a wealth of excellent local organisations which work with young people.” 

A Southwark Council spokesperson added that while the local authority did not refer any children to the charity, “some will have sought their services. We are ready to support any vulnerable children and young people in the borough who are affected by the closure of Kids Company”. 

Alison O’Sullivan, president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, added that the Department for Education have been coordinating with Kids Company, local authorities and other charities in preparation for the closure. 

“The impact of this will vary across the areas where the charity operated,” she said. “However all of the authorities where the Kids Company delivered services will be working hard to limit the impact of its closure on the vulnerable children, young people and communities who rely on its services.” 

(Image: c. Anthony Devlin PA)


T. Hacker   06/08/2015 at 14:59

Politicians are addicted to disbursing major sums of taxpayers monies to all and sundry, often with no checks or requirements of transparency regarding the spending. This organisation would have continued for another 19 years shovelling money out of its doors and also into the pockets of its managers if the media had not publicised the story. Hey it is only your money so what does it really matter?

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