A broken commissiong model means charities like Barnardo’s are forced to spend public donations on competing with each other, the charity’s chief executive told the Conservative Party Conference yesterday evening.
Javed Khan was speaking at an evening reception organised by Barnardo’s, where he said that the sector and government need to face up to new challenges to help vulnerable children.
“The current commissioning model is broken,” Khan said. “It not delivering services, nor the value for money. It’s just not fit for purpose.”
He said the current model meant Barnardo’s and others are “using donors’ money to compete against each other. That is not what donors give their money for.”
He said often interventions are just “sticking plasters” and not “long term” interventions.
Khan also told the reception that Barnardo’s is prepared to “challenge” government, but that because it was based on evidence, the charity could maintain a strong relationship with the public sector.
Khan said that Barnardo’s had formed a number of strategic partnerships with local authorities in places like Essex and Redbridge.
He said through these partnerships the charity does “things very differently” and that they are already “delivering great results understanding the challenge”.
He urged other charities to come and talk to him and share ideas. “The only reason we exist is to do the very best for vulnerable children.”
Yesterday Barnardo’s and the Department for Work and Pensions announced a new partnership to support care leavers with work experience in the charity’s retail network.
The placements will help young people learn practical skills in the workplace, whilst also allowing them to develop their ‘soft skills'.