Who are Berry Street?
Berry Street “help children, young people and families recover from the devastating effects of violence, abuse and neglect.” They provide services to children, young people, women and families across metropolitan, regional and rural Victoria.
Why do they exist?
They have a vision that “all children should have a good childhood, growing up feeling safe, nurtured and with hope for the future.” They report that there are more than 340,000 reports of suspected child abuse and neglect across Australia each year and nearly 35,000 children in Out Of Home Care (6,000 in Victoria).
What do they do?
Berry Street work across the following areas.
- Providing Safe Homes: ensuring that traumatised children and young people have a safe and secure place to live, through foster, kinship and residential care services.
- Healing Childhood Trauma: helping children heal and recover from the trauma of abuse and neglect through programs such as Take Two intensive therapeutic program, counselling and outdoor adventure programs.
- Strengthening and Empowering Families: helping families build their parenting and conflict resolution skills so they can better provide for their children’s needs.
- Advancing Children’s Learning & Development: working with schools, education models and vocational training to enhance children and young people’s capacity to achieve in education and training.
- Knowledge Development and Advocacy: helping policy makers, service providers, researchers and the community better understand what is required for all children to have a good childhood.
How do they earn their money?
How do they spend their money?
Should I donate to Berry Street?
Berry Street are a legally registered charity with deductible gift recipient status. They clearly describe their mission, their strategy to address it, the programs they are undertaking and the key results of their programs. They show how they work with universities to better understand different causes of childhood struggle and the effectiveness of particular interventions. Berry Street also actively demonstrate they are leaders in creating new, innovative programs. They are generally transparent with their finances.
However, we would need to see more on how they are governed and how they evaluate their programs before having complete confidence in Berry Street. To understand the how the charity is governed, we need more detail on the experience of those by whom they are governed, how they are remunerated and how performance is monitored. In order to verify their effectiveness, we need to be able to see the evaluation framework they adopt or any completed evaluation reports. Berry Street have indicated that they have commenced an ‘outcomes-based’ evaluation framework to measure the effectiveness of their organisation’s services. However, we were unable to locate the details of this framework or any completed evaluation reports. We would also like to see a break down of how expenses are allocated across service areas to understand Berry Street’s priority activities.
After assessing both their strengths and weaknesses, our recommendation for Berry Street is neutral. They demonstrate a basic level of trustworthiness and signs of effectiveness, but we need more assurances before being able to recommend them with confidence. In order to improve our confidence with Berry Street, we need to see:
- more on the background and experience of the board;
- further detail on how the board and executive team are remunerated;
- evaluations of their various activity streams; and
- a breakdown of the cost to deliver their activity streams.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
We have investigated the finances, operations and results of Berry Street and present our evaluation in a report that you can download now. This evaluation shows you how your donation is spent, who is running the organisation and whether there are any potential conflicts of interest. It also examines whether the charity can demonstrate that they are delivering meaningful results. Finally, it contains our recommendations for potential donors and the reasoning behind them.
Download our complete evaluation of Berry Street below to find out if they're the charity for you.
Find out whether Berry Street is the charity for you. In this evaluation we describe what this charity does and why, what you should know about them, how your money is spent, who is running the organisation and whether they deliver results. Last of all, we recommend whether you should donate to them based on the findings of our analysis.