New Barnardo's chief eyes strategic role in children's services

Derren Hayes
Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Barnardo's new chief executive wants the charity to manage, commission and deliver statutory children's services in partnership with local authorities as it evolves into a more strategic organisation over the next few years.

Speaking to CYP Now, Javed Khan said there was a need for a fundamental reorganisation of children’s services in light of local governments funding cuts, with Barnardo’s, which he joined earlier this month from Victim Support, “right at the core of everything the sector needs to be about”.

He said: “The future has got to be about how you invite an organisation like Barnardo’s to the table of the thinking, the planning, the rethinking and then service commissioning.

“It is organisations like Barnardo’s that are big enough, experienced enough, knowledgeable enough about what the right thing to do is from the frontline that can be part of that right at the start as a strategic partner.”

He said such a move could see Barnardo’s relinquishing its role as a deliverer of local services, which would pose “organisational challenge”.

“But we might want to be within a consortium, a much more team-based approach alongside other charities and voluntary sector organisations, and the private sector might be included too,” he said.

Khan added that Barnardo’s has a role in “offering shelter” to other voluntary sector organisations struggling in the “turbulent” funding climate. He envisages doing this by collaborating and “seeing how we can work more closely than perhaps any of us imagined in the past”.

Barnardo’s has also announced it is to train early years staff at 139 children’s centres in five key techniques to boost outcomes for children. It hopes to reach 90,000 families across the UK.

The “five to thrive” programme sees staff teach parents about five building blocks for healthy brain development in babies – respond, cuddle, relax, play and talk – through activities that support the child's personal, social and emotional development.

To read the interview with Javed Khan click here or see the new issue of CYP Now.

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