Kids Company has suffered further media criticism after it was revealed that the charity paid the London School of Economics almost £40,000 for a glowing report about the impact of its work.
Times Higher Education yesterday revealed that the charity had paid £39,537 to LSE for the study, Kids Company: a diagnosis of the organisation and its interventions, which has been frequently cited by Camila Batmanghelidjh as proof that the charity was effective.
The report has been widely criticised as not sufficiently robust to act as good evidence for the charity's interventions.
The study was published in 2013. In the preface its co-author Sandra Jovchelovitch, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to study the language of love that Kids Company makes available to some of the most vulnerable children and young people in the UK.
"This report systematises the work of the charity and pulls together a unique body of evidence about the experience of its staff and volunteers as they reach out and engage children and young people in need.”
It concluded that the charity made “a substantial difference in the lives of its clients”.
But the report also warned that: “Limited and unstable funding is a major source of stress and anxiety for staff and a massive challenge for the sustainability of Kids Company.”
Last week Kids Company closed its doors because it could not pay its debts as they fell due. Its founder, Camila Batmanghelidjh, has since blamed “rumour-mongering civil servants, ill-spirited ministers and the media” for the charity's demise, saying that "unfounded" allegations of sexual abuse caused philanthropists to withdraw offers of funding.
In a statement LSE said: “University departments are regularly commissioned by charities, businesses or the government to undertake pieces of research. This is a standard practice.
“With all funding arrangements, academic impartiality and integrity remain of paramount importance. The findings and analysis of this report were based on the evidence and data collected by the researchers at the time.
“This paper was not an audit of Kids Company finances or management practices. The report, produced by academics at the Department of Social Psychology at LSE, analysed the model of intervention and care by the charity and how it had helped support some of the most vulnerable young people in the UK.
“It had a particular focus on the psychological impact of Kids Company’s approach.
“The study was co-funded by Kids Company and LSE. A total of £39,537 was provided through Kids Company to cover direct costs of research for the report, and for a day-long conference."
Cabinet Office amends its Parliamentary responses regarding Kids Company
The Cabinet Office has amended a written answer that Rob Wilson, minister for civil society, provided to Harriet Harman, acting leader of the Labour Party, regarding the funding provided to Kids Company.
In June Harman asked what funding the government was planning to provide for the financial year 2016/17.
Shortly afterwards the minister replied with an answer that included a table detailing exactly how much had been provided from 2007 onwards.
Yesterday Wilson wrote: “An error has been identified with the written answer given on 8 June 2015.”
The new answer provides exact figures for 2014/15 and 2015/16. But instead of the full table said: “The government has provided funding to Kids Company since at least 2007 at a level of approximately £4 million per year.”
The original answer and the corrected version are available on They Work for You.
Batmanghelidjh now using her own money to feed children
Batmanghelidjh yesterday told the Daily Express that she is now using her own money to support the charity’s former clients.
She added that some former members of staff were also still working for free to "help poverty-stricken immigrant families eat."
And that: "Quite a lot of people are becoming homeless since we closed. Some cannot afford food.
"Staff have been coming in voluntarily to hand over child protection cases to local authorities."