Barnardos Annual Review 1994

Barnardos. (1994). Barnardos Annual Review 1994.
With a great deal of change taking place, or expected, in several significant aspects of the child care environment it is important for an organisation like Barnardo’s to assess how it needs to adept to meet new challenges. Since we seek to ensure we are at all times professional, relevant and effective, earlier this year we implemented the findings of an intensive review of our operations with a view to securing our future viability and effectiveness. This involved several significant changes of direction, scale and internal structure and regrettably involved job losses. Losing staff who have given a great deal to Barnardo’s in terms of their skills and their commitment has been painful, but we have had to reconcile this with the achievement of greater stability and the opportunity thus afforded to embark on new developments. As a result of these changes we expect to extend the range of our child care services, expenditure on which will increase as a proportion of our total budget. Barnardo’s has reaffirmed its commitment to work in a number of areas of Dublin, providing a more integrated range of family support services to vulnerable children and their families. Outside Dublin we have entered into partnerships with the Midland and Mid-Western Health Boards to provide family support services in Edenderry and Limerick city respectively, both of which will commence in Autumn 1994. We also expect to establish in the near future a bereavement service for children following extensive consultations with relevant bodies and groups. The establishment of the National Children’s Resource Centre in 1993 has extended our capacity to provide information and training to individual professionals, statutory and voluntary bodies and to community groups. Looking to the future, having strengthened our internal planning and evaluation processes, we envisage that we will be extending our services with regard to geographical area, age range and target group, in consultation with appropriate bodies. Our funding strategy will involve the achievement of higher levels of statutory support, increasing fundraising income and the development of new funding sources. We will be continuing to strengthen our relationships with other voluntary child welfare organisations as evidenced by our active participation on Focus On Children; the Children’s Rights Alliance and the European Forum for Child Welfare. The development of Barnardo’s relations with health boards and other voluntary and statutory organisations with a concern for the welfare of children has demonstrated to us the value of an open, flexible and constructive approach and has reinforced our conviction that the most effective means to achieve the best outcomes for children is through co-operation. Realism suggests that the child care developments currently in the offing will, no matter how effective they are, still leave many children in need. Combining this realism with a firm commitment to make a difference to these children’s lives points to the value of working together to articulate a shared vision of how our society might provide for our most vulnerable children in the future. If this could be achieved the goodwill, commitment and resources of all participants, whether statutory or voluntary could be harnessed towards the realisation of this vision. Such a goal might seem at best ambitious, at worst naive. Considering the potential outcome should be sufficient grounds to at least make the attempt.