Councillors commend Corporate Parenting activities
The responsibilities of Highland Councillors as Corporate Parents of Care Experienced Young People in Highland were highlighted today at a meeting of the Council’s Care, Learning and Housing Committee.
Members were urged to engage with Looked After Young People and the idea of a 5-aside-football team was mooted as a way to engage.
Councillors were updated on the statutory responsibility of Corporate Parenting in the region and welcomed the ongoing work to engage with young people to hear their experiences and how they wish to be supported.
Councillor Linda Munro, Chair of the Corporate Parenting Board and Vice Chair of the Council’s Care, Learning and Housing Committee said: “I am absolutely delighted to be the Chair of the first Highland Corporate Parenting Board. There are real opportunities here, but the best opportunity is going to be developed with, and through the Young People. It’s not my ideas or any expert’s ideas that are required to improve our Young People’s lives it’s the Young Peoples’ ideas that they have for themselves.
“We now need better engagement with our Young People and a better steer from them. I want the Members in this Chamber to start considering Looked After children as real people. Have you ever thought about how much pocket money our Looked After children have; how much money do they receive at Christmas; how can we inspire and develop them if they have specific interests and skills such as being good at playing the guitar or horse-riding? We need to talk to them as corporate parents as if they were our own children and we need to engage with them.”
She added: “I am not the corporate parent, but we are all corporate parents and so are the Council’s Officers. We are all responsible for changing the conversation with Young People. Today in Highland we have 30 Young People looking for a forever home – let’s start here, now and recognise them as real people.”
Councillor John Finlayson, Chair of the Care Learning and Housing Committee added: “Our Corporate Parenting activities are an agenda that we really do have to move forward. While we have had a Members’ seminar, we need to have another different type of Members’ seminar that involves the Young People also. This is important for us personally as we all have to meet our Corporate Parenting responsibilities.”
He added: “We are all aware of the engagement with CHAMPS groups running at Clachnaharry in Inverness and the recent visit there by the Chief Executive, Officers and Members where an impromptu football kick-about was held. So maybe we need to think about the many ways we can engage and get a Members’ 5-a-side football team together to play with the Young People on another visit!?”