Review found evidence of 'racist and discriminatory behaviour' at Barnardo's

The charity says it will take the severest available disciplinary action against individuals where evidence is clear and has reiterated its commitment to becoming an anti-racist organisation

An independent investigation at Barnardo’s found evidence of racism and racially motivated behaviour in the charity's fundraising department, the charity has revealed. 

The inquiry last year concluded that the department’s leadership had failed to address such behaviour and a number of the charity’s staff are under formal independent disciplinary investigation, Barnardo’s said in a statement

The charity said it would take the “severest available disciplinary action” where evidence against individuals was clear and reiterated its commitment to becoming an anti-racist organisation. 

The statement said that once the allegations came to light the investigation was given the full support and assistance of the leadership team and access to all relevant colleagues, and documentation. 

“Now concluded, the investigation found evidence of racist and discriminatory behaviour within the fundraising department and a failure of the department’s leadership to adequately address a culture that engendered this behaviour," it said. 

“We will ensure the severest available disciplinary action is taken where evidence against particular individuals is clear, and our internal investigations are actively looking into this. Some colleagues are under formal independent disciplinary investigation.”

Barnardo’s said it did not condone racist and discriminatory behaviour, and this independent and thorough investigation was conducted expressly because it takes any allegations of such behaviour extremely seriously.

The statement said: "In line with Barnardo’s ongoing commitment to becoming an anti-racist organisation, we will be acting on a number of clear recommendations set out for the fundraising department and where appropriate, for the wider charity as a result of this report."

A Charity Commission spokesperson said it had received a serious incident report from the charity.

"We are assured the charity is handling the issue appropriately at this point, but remain in touch with the charity on these matters," the spokesperson said. 

In November last year, dozens of voluntary sector leaders came out in support of the charity after its work to tackle white privilege was met with racist abuse.

The charity also hit back at a group of Conservative MPs the following month after they dismissed the charity’s talk on this issue as “ideological dogma”.

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