Corporate parenting means the collective responsibility of the council, elected members, employees, and partner agencies to give care experienced children, young people and adults (care leavers) the best start in life.
A child in the care of the council should expect the whole council to be the best parent it can be. Every member and employee of the council has the statutory responsibility to act for a looked after child in the same way that a good parent would act for their own child.
Every good parent wants the best for their child:
- To see their child flourish
- To enjoy good health
- To be safe and happy
- To do well at school
- To enjoy good relationships with their peers
- To make the most of leisure opportunities, hobbies and interests
- To grow towards adulthood equipped to lead independent lives and to make their way as happy, healthy, successful and financially secure adults
The role of corporate parent extends beyond children's social care. It is the responsibility of each elected councillor, every member of staff and wider partner agencies to enable children in the council's care to lead happy and fulfilled lives.
Being a good corporate parent means we should:
- Accept responsibility for children in the council's care
- Make their needs a priority
- Seek for them the same outcomes any good parent would want for their own children
Corporate parenting strategy
The corporate parenting strategy sets out our commitment to work together to improve outcomes for care experienced children and young people, and care experienced adults for whom we all have a special responsibility.
Corporate parenting panel
The purpose of the corporate parenting panel is to make sure that the council is the best parent it can be to all the children and young people who are in their care or have been in their care.
The panel also progress the seven priorities, identified by care experienced children and young people, in the corporate parenting strategy, which are:
- We want our corporate parents, and other key leaders to understand and act on their responsibilities
- We want to have a safe and stable home and life
- We want to reach our potential in education
- We want to be physically and emotionally healthy
- We want to enjoy a range of play, sport, leisure and cultural opportunities
- We want our voice to matter
- When leaving care we want to live happy, healthy and financially secure lives
The corporate parenting panel meets every two months. Our children in care council, Your Voice Matters, are on the panel and they always have a time in the meeting to talk about anything that they want to raise.
The people who are on the corporate parenting panel are:
- Cabinet member for children and families (Chair)
- Councillors from all the parties
- Director of children and families
- Director of adults and communities
- Director of economy and place
- Chief finance officer
- Head of service for looked after children
- Your Voice Matters representatives supported by participation officer
- Foster carer representatives
- Virtual school headteacher
- Lead nurse for children in care, Wye Valley NHS Trust
- Designated doctor for safeguarding and looked after children
- Community services manager, CAMHS
- Lay member for patient experience CCG governing body