The English KidsCompany reaches 36,000 and intensively supports 18,000 children across London and Bristol, including the most deprived and at risk whose parents are unable to care for them due to their own practical and emotional challenges.
This week I was at the King’s Fund annual leadership conference. It was a day full of interesting presentations by and meetings with various UK health and social care leaders, like Simon Stevens, Michael West, Chris Ham, Karen Castille. Most touching was the passionate talk by Camila Batmanghelidjh, a colourful lady who is using her energy for supporting the most disadvantaged inner city children in London and Bristol. And doing that differently compared to the standard care organisations and with only 10% public funding. 97% of the children do refer themselves to the KidsCompany and show a remarkable recovery within 15 months through unrelenting love and support provided. She stated “that children are not hard to reach, but the services for them are”.
KidsCompany is an interesting example for municipalities in the Netherlands that will be taken full responsibility for youth care as of 2015. Camila promised to meet with me and the group of Dutch social care providers when we will be in England. I am looking forward it.