Find out about the progress of our 10-year Corporate Strategy from 2016, and how we are looking to address the challenges of today's world.

If you partner with us, or help support our partners, we have put together an overview which is available for download. ​​​

In 2016, we identified that demand for Barnardo’s services was set to increase. Three years later, demand continues to increase, and we also know that children and young people’s needs are becoming ever more complex. There are significant additional challenges ahead, including:

  • continuing economic and political uncertainty
  • a tough fundraising environment
  • different markets for commissioning young people's services – in particular the expected acceleration of integrated commissioning of health and social care services
  • changing attitudes towards charities
  • new risks and threats to the wellbeing of vulnerable individuals and communities.

The world is changing fast, which means we must change what we do and how we do it if we are going to remain a constant force for good in the lives of the children, young people, parents and carers who depend on us.

This imperative not only relates to our direct work, but extends to our role in changing and improving the wider system of delivering services to vulnerable children and young people across the UK, which is too often incoherent, ineffective and insufficiently child-focused.

Our overarching commitment remains:

To change the lives of vulnerable children and young people within our broader work with families and communities, giving them hope and helping them to realise their full potential. 

Alongside commitments carried forward from the first three years of our strategy, we will give priority to the following.

Additional commitments

Partner with children and young people to drive system change

Our commitment in full

We will understand and build on the experiences of children, young people, their parents and carers. We will use our scale, knowledge and expertise to ensure systems change within governments, public services and society as a whole.

What will be different

  • We will take a more assertive and challenging (yet still measured) stance on key issues relating to vulnerable children and young people (CYP).

  • We will build a systematic basis for generating and using the voice of CYP within our influencing work and through all of our change programmes.

  • We will build/spread our knowledge and expertise in delivering children’s services by creating the Barnardo’s Corporate University (‘The BU’).

How we will show progress

We will assess the impact of our influence with annual surveys of critical stakeholder groups, e.g. CYP service users and key stakeholders.

Work with other organisations and communities to drive positive outcomes for children and young people in the health and social care sector

Our commitment in full

We will drive change that prevents harm and delivers long-term sustainable impact for children and young people, working with partners across agencies, communities and volunteers – including in the rapidly changing health and social care sector.

What will be different

  • Building on our knowledge and experience from our existing 49 NHS contracts, we will pursue more opportunities within emerging integrated health and social care strategic partnerships.
  • If appropriate, we will build an operating model to compete for integrated health and social care contracts​​​​​​.

How we will show progress

We will assess impact with quarterly growth trends and a range of contracts, while demonstrating high quality standards with an annual progress review of the range and impact of strategic partnerships.

Invest our voluntary funds to make a sustainable difference

Our commitment in full

We will invest our voluntary funds in work across the charity that demonstrates impact and rises to the challenges and opportunities faced by vulnerable children and young people now and in the future. 

What will be different

  • We will establish a 'Foundation' to distribute voluntary funds on a transparent and innovative basis - and scrutinise the impact it achieves.
  • We will create tangible projects and increase transparency around spend to support fundraising​​​​​​
  • Through this, we will demonstrate a growing proportionate impact on targeted and individual work at the higher end of vulnerability.

How we will show progress

We will assess impact through an annual indicator of positive change in our service performance, and by showing a quarterly proportionate increase of vulnerable service users, as a proportion of total service users.

Innovate to grow our income

Our commitment in full

We will further grow our net fundraising and retail income, including broadening our supporter base and ensuring we pursue innovative opportunities.

What will be different

  • Enhanced scrutiny of our income generation plans through the new Board sub-committee.
  • Continued investment in brand and fundraising to support the long-term ambition.​​​​​​
  • Greater commercial freedoms within our overall strategic framework to take advantage of new. opportunities​​​​​, potentially with additional freedoms and a different risk appetite.
  • Greater clarity on filling our key capability gaps/restructuring to deliver.

How we will show progress

We will assess impact through quarterly tracking of voluntary funds raised through fundraising and retail income.

Be an efficient and effective Barnardo's that is digital, diverse and learning

Our commitment in full

We will increase our efficiency and effectiveness alongside our journey to become a genuinely digital, diverse and learning organisation.

What will be different

  • Shared services function.
  • The Barnardo’s 'Foundation'.
  • Restructure of other corporate functions, with continued emphasis on work programmes for the three strategic enablers.

How we will show progress

We will assess impact through annual proportion of overheads relative to overall expenditure and annual assessment of delivery of our change programmes.

Invest in volunteers and employees

Our commitment in full

We will engage, develop and retain our most precious resource – Barnardo’s colleagues, both paid and unpaid – in delivery of our mission.

What will be different

  • Build and launch our corporate university, The BU, as part of our continued commitment to learning as one of our strategic enablers.
  • Build on our commitment to train all our people to be trauma-informed and work with our Partners to be fully trauma-responsive in all that we do.
  • Implementation of tangible outputs on our five Employee Opinion Survey priorities.

How we will show progress

We will assess impact through quarterly exception reporting on organisational health indicators, using real time assessment of engagement through our intranet and other tools and an annual Employee Opinion Survey (supplemented by the Barnardo’s 100 Panel).