The third sector is a collective term that relates to voluntary and community organizations, charities, social enterprises, mutuals and cooperatives. In the domain of children’s services, there are a vast number of these of varying sizes from small local groups staffed entirely by volunteers to large global charities. Their independent status enables them to be flexible, responsive and use local community knowledge effectively. A definitive characteristic is that they are not for profit and are driven by values. In their comprehensive review of the third sector, Blake et al. (2007) defined these shared values as: ■ Empowering people■ Pursuing equality■ Making voices heard■ Transforming lives■ Being responsible■ Finding fulfillment■ Doing a good job■ Generating public wealth.
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