Kids company - what a cock up!

(360 Posts)
Northernlurker Tue 04-Aug-15 23:45:11

So I understand from the bbc that kc got the three million they were waiting for and which was given to support restructuring of the charity and promptly spent 800 grand of it on the months salary bill! What on earth were they thinking? Looks like it's totally done for now.

bleedingheart Wed 05-Aug-15 09:05:19

What's going on? It seems it will close tonight. This has all come about rather quickly.

What will happen to the children and young people? And the remaining £2.2million grant?

StitchingMoss Wed 05-Aug-15 09:06:28

It's all very odd. I'm guessing we're not being told the whole story?

GoooRooo Wed 05-Aug-15 09:12:19

I don't understand the outrage about this. Surely if the staff are due to be paid they should be paid - should they be expected to work for free?

StitchingMoss Wed 05-Aug-15 09:14:38

They weren't allowed to use that grant to pay them though.

slicedfinger Wed 05-Aug-15 09:15:09

I think there is a much bigger picture and some serious political skullduggery going on. How can any organisation pass all the audit controls they need to, and then be accused of financial mismanagement?

GoooRooo Wed 05-Aug-15 09:19:18

They weren't allowed to use that grant to pay them though.

Ah, I missed that. Thanks

paulapantsdown Wed 05-Aug-15 09:20:55

This is all very strange. So they are closing their doors tonight. I assume there i a lot more to this than we are being told. Should I cancel my monthly DD donation?

CuttedUpPear Wed 05-Aug-15 09:23:59

How sad for the kids that they support.
The centre in Bristol hasn't been open for that long and I see many, many young people using it.
It's really worrying to think that they are going to lose that support.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 05-Aug-15 09:33:14

This is interesting
"One of the staff told me to return the following Friday if I wanted to see what was really going on. This time I found about 20 young people having lunch. When I asked some why they came, they looked surprised: “For the money of course.” It certainly was not for the education or Pilates. As I saw for myself, staff handed out envelops of cash ranging from £50 to £200 – a serious amount to a young person receiving roughly £50 a week from the state. According to staff and kids, this happened every Friday.
This financial allowance appeared to be the key to the popularity of the centre. One member of staff said: “You don’t see most of the kids coming any other day.” One girl told me: “I come on Friday lunch times to socialise, pick up my allowance and then I go.” Outside I saw four or five cars queuing up. Young people jumped out and ran into the centre. They returned a few moments later, waving their envelopes in the air and grinning. Then they got back into the car and were driven away."www.telegraph.co.uk/news/society/11717413/Kids-Company-Did-good-PR-mask-deeper-failings.html

This is worth a read too: www.spectator.co.uk/features/9437932/the-trouble-with-kids-company/

StitchingMoss Wed 05-Aug-15 10:00:04

That's shocking! Can't believe the amount of money they've been given from the govt either - I work for a small children's charity, we'd kill for that kind of money!

Behooven Wed 05-Aug-15 10:05:21

There has been dark rumours regarding this charity and the flamboyant person who runs it for years. I think she earns £90,000 a year. She has friends in very high places. <Allegedly>

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 05-Aug-15 10:06:06

I think their heart is in the right place, but it doesn't sound like they were working particularly efficiently, and fudging the numbers is a definite no no.

JulyKit Wed 05-Aug-15 10:10:41

It will be interesting to hear what CB has to say about this, and I hope she does get to have her say.

I saw this Community Care article:

www.communitycare.co.uk/2015/07/03/kids-company-founder-camila-batmanghelidjh-silenced-government/

I've been wondering since about her 'kamikaze' comment.

StitchingMoss Wed 05-Aug-15 10:14:02

It's handing out wads of cash to vulnerable young people that's most concerning. What the hell was the thinking behind that?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 05-Aug-15 10:35:17

I presume so they could feed themselves, make their way to the centre?

Where I used to work we would keep bread and a fridge full of basics so the young people could make sandwiches etc, and we would pay for bus tickets on a day by day basis. Much more sensible way if doing it.

StitchingMoss Wed 05-Aug-15 10:40:24

Exactly, Itsall, there are far better ways of ensuring vulnerable young people are supported than literally throwing cash at them. Crazy.

howtorebuild Wed 05-Aug-15 10:42:42

What an Odd organisation. What did they 'do'?

Lightbulbon Wed 05-Aug-15 10:44:51

What do they/did they do as a charity?

I know they have a head office in Central London (must cost a fortune in rent- could it not have been located somewhere cheaper?) but I'm unaware of what work they actually do? Is it quite London focused?

Alyosha Wed 05-Aug-15 10:44:52

There is some evidence to show that simply giving cash to the poorest people is a more effective intervention than anything else.

However those studies were done in adults...

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Wed 05-Aug-15 10:49:47

The more I read about kids company the more I question what on earth was going on. I've worked with vulnerable teens in a statutory setting for years so I have a pretty good idea what works and what doesn't work. Handing out cash willy nilly is literally never going to be a helpful intervention. We did things like take them shopping on birthdays and spend money on them, made up hampers of lovely food at Christmas, took them on trips and ran barbecues, life skills work shops including food and residential forest school trips. They were treated, and made to feel as special and important as we could manage but handing them cash was antithetical to what we were trying to achieve which was to teach them budgeting and financial responsibility. We did provide food parcels and vouchers in extremis as well as topping up electric meters etc.
KC's theories seem to be based on unconditional love and acceptance which has merit but equally, good parents have boundaries and teach their children values. It's not just about love and stuff.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 05-Aug-15 10:52:04

There is some evidence to show that simply giving cash to the poorest people is a more effective intervention than anything else.

It's not so much the giving cash I have a problem with. It's that that is not their stated aim. Fair enough if they said they were a charity who distributed much needed funds to vulnerable young people.

But they say:

"Kids Company is committed to providing inclusive, child-focused and holistic support services to vulnerable children. Kids Company’s mission is to stabilise, nurture and empower vulnerable children, enabling them to realise their aspirations and fulfil their maximum potential.

Kids Company adopts a psychotherapeutic approach and views children’s emotional and behavioural difficulties in the context of their negative experiences of childhood. Kids Company seeks to provide an environment in which relationships of empathy and attachment can be fostered between children and trusted adults.

Kids Company works according to the following principles:

•The child is the primary client, to whom Kids Company is accountable.

•Significant adults, including parents and carers, are supported as secondary clients, provided meeting their needs is in the best interests of the child.

•Children are able to self-refer, to define the nature of their own needs and to shape the nature of their support package in partnership with Kids Company staff.

•Children are never permanently excluded; challenging behaviour is understood from the perspective of the child, in the context of negative experiences of childhood and emotional hurt.

•Children experience positive relationships of empathy, respect and care with trusted adults that act as models for future relationships.

•Long-term, non time-framed and flexible services are provided, ensuring that children’s complex and diverse needs are met on an individual basis.

•Services are holistic and seek to meet the child’s complete emotional, social, educational and practical needs.

•Children have access to a range of support services including education, employment support, nutrition, alternative health, therapeutic interventions, social work, housing and benefits advice, practical life skills, holidays, mentoring and key work.

•Where required, Kids Company will act as an advocate to ensure that children are receiving the statutory services they are entitled to.

•Services are documented, researched and evaluated in order to create a Kids Company model of best practice.

•Kids Company aims to disseminate this model of best practice to the statutory and voluntary sectors through a ‘Centre of Excellence’."

It sounds like they are not actually providing/doing much of this, which is understandable as it is a bugger to get YPs through the door and engaging, but instead of admitting these difficulties (which all charities in this field face) they seem to be upping their headcount by paying YPs to attend.

howtorebuild Wed 05-Aug-15 11:12:19

How would a child even know what self referral was?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 05-Aug-15 11:17:56

How would a child even know what self referral was?

They may not, but an involved adult might. Many (most?) of these sorts of things require a S/S or school referral, especially if the YP is below school leaving age, and will be attending during school hours.

carriebrody Wed 05-Aug-15 11:26:28

In Bristol they have a drop-in, education centres for children not in school, do therapeutic work in several schools in areas of high deprivation, and do work with teen mums.

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