11 December 2014, The Tablet

100-year-old Catholic adoption and fostering agency Cabrini to close

A Catholic children's agency has been taken over by a secular charity, The Tablet can reveal.

Cabrini, formerly known as the Catholic Children’s Society, has transferred all of its adoption, fostering and residential services to the Diagrama Foundation and now describes itself as “non-operational”. All of its assets are also being transferred along with adoption records and historical documents.

Cabrini has faced financial difficulties and was set to make a loss of nearly £1 million this year. It has operated with a deficit for more than a decade and a major restructure in March resulted in 25 redundancies, the closure of its nurseries in Vauxhall and Peckham in London, and the Fountains Centre for people with learning disabilities in Essex.

Cabrini’s interim chief executive Hilary Brooks wrote in a letter to The Tablet that the charity could no longer provide its core services.

“Diagrama has very similar values and an ethos that has been provided by Cabrini over the years,” she explained, adding it was an “exciting time” for the charity.

In 2009 the charity, founded by Southwark auxiliary Bishop John Butt in 1887, dropped “Catholic” from its name and severed formal links with the Church after legislation was introduced barring discrimination against same-sex adoptive couples. It continued to operate with some financial support from the dioceses of Arundel and Brighton, Portsmouth and Southwark and two of its trustees were Catholic priests. 

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