Corporate Parenting responsibilities:
Good parents want the best for their children. Local authority elected members and senior officers are responsible for taking on this role for looked after children and care leavers, ensuring a standard of care and support which includes all aspects of a child’s wellbeing including their health, education, general welfare and their aspirations as they enter adulthood. This is known as corporate parenting and current legislation (Section 22 of the Children Act 1989) imposes a duty on local authorities to ‘safeguard and promote the welfare of each child they look after’.
The Director of Children’s Services and Lead Members have this as a core function, but how individuals are involved may depend on their role, and Corporate Parenting is recognised as a collective and a core responsibility for all staff working with looked after children and young people and care leavers. There are generally three different levels of responsibility:
- Universal: for example, a general awareness of governance arrangements and the issues facing looked after children;
- Targeted: for example, Councillors visiting children’s homes;
- Specialist: where corporate parenting is at the heart of someone’s role, for example a Social Worker or Head of Virtual School, Designated and Named Doctors and Nurses for Looked after children.
Whilst there may not be the opportunity for all corporate parents to develop their own individual relationships with children and young people, there is an emphasis upon the ‘creation of the conditions’ where the needs of individual children and young people are understood and met through the provision of the right services at the right time (for example learning opportunities, housing, financial advice, leisure services). Services should ‘at the ready’ to ‘give their best’ to ensure the children and young people can ‘do their best’ and be an active part of the life-space of Looked after Children and Care Leavers as individuals and as a group.
page updated 23.05.2017