Kids Company and Good Governance: Mapping what we know Research

Of interest to all involved in the governance of charities

The story of Keeping Kids Company (Kids Company) has kept charity governance observers enthralled for many years. Following its closure in 2015, the organisation’s impact on charity law, regulation, governance and the wider public’s perception of the sector has been profound. The recent High Court judgment relating to the Official Receiver’s case to disqualify a number of trustees and the chief executive (CEO) was the latest and probably the most important contribution to the discussion, especially as the Official Receiver will not be appealing the judgment. The Charity Commission has stated that no further regulatory action will be taken against individuals. It will set out its findings and conclusions in an inquiry report in due course, including whether there has been misconduct and/or mismanagement at the charity.

Charity law and regulation were amended following the fallout from the Kids Company events, along with the Charity Governance Code being overhauled. This raises the intriguing question as to whether the charity adhered to charity regulation and good governance practice or not? The following discussion attempts to assimilate publicly available information about the governance of Kids Company and apply the principles and practices of charity governance espoused in two versions of the governance code covering the sector.

This document includes:

Drawing on publicly available information, the research compares the charity governance codes in operation in 2010 to 2016 and the refreshed version (2020 update) and the governance practices in place at Kids Company during the time covered by media speculation and the various reports covering the charity’s collapse (the reports referenced were written from March 2014 to February 2021).

Evidence of governance practice is not conclusive, but we have drawn upon several reports to gather the information relating to the charity’s governance arrangements.

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The report will be available shortly. 

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