New Corporate Parenting legislation increases corporate responsibility
On the 1st of April 2015, changes to the Children and Young
People Act (2014) will increase the number of Corporate Parents who must take
responsibility for looked-after children and young people.
Corporate parenting can be described as a shared responsibility and partnership of all local authority departments, services and agencies in meeting the needs of looked-after children and young people. As well as a local authority, also contained on the updated list of 23 corporate parents are The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, The Scottish Police Authority (and the chief constable of the Police Service of Scotland), The Scottish Qualifications Authority, The Scottish Legal Aid Board, Creative Scotland, amongst many more.
The Act aims to help there to be a shared understanding what a corporate parent is and how this translates to professionals and partner organisations; there is also the desire to increase looked-after children and young people’s understanding of corporate parenting and what it means to them. With the introduction of this Act, it is hoped that all corporate parents will be clearly informed of the responsibilities they possess and can therefore be more aware of how to be better corporate parents. These duties apply to looked-after young people and care leavers up to the age of 26 years of age.
Children’s Champion, Cllr Linda Munro, said: “I welcome all the new additions to the list of Corporate Parents along with the many other positive changes associated with the Children and Young People Act 2014. Making sure that looked after children and young people are given the same opportunities and care that their counterparts are given is of the utmost importance to every Highland councillor”.
Steve Barron, Highland Council Chief Executive, said: “The fact that the Council is to be joined with so many other partner agencies in providing the necessary care for children and young people who are in care or are care leavers is excellent news. Pulling our resources together means all corporate parents will help to guarantee these young people have brighter futures ahead of them.” He added: “I am particularly pleased with the employment opportunities that the Highland Council is offering looked-after young people this year. These positions will help young people across Highland to give us their input and help to improve their lives.”
The Highland Council is to interview potential candidates for “Family Firm” positions within the Council on the 31st of March 2015. All candidates are young people, and this role aims to provide them with experience and transferrable skills which can be used to help further their futures.
Four young people meeting their new corporate parents, The Highland Council, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland Names, back row left to right: Scott Hay (Scottish Fire and Rescue Service), Steve Barron (Chief Executive, The Highland Council), Vince McLaughlin (DCI, Police Scotland), Cllr Jaci Douglas, Colin Carey (Police Scotland), Cllr Linda Munro, Sandra Campbell (Head of Childrens’ Services), Victoria Robertson (Childrens’ Panel Member), Martin MacDonnel (Skills Development Scotland), Bill Alexander (Director of Health and Social Care, Highland Council), Euan Graham (Who Cares? Scotland) Front row left: Lauren Clark (ThoroughCare and AfterCare, Highland Council) Front row right: Jantine Van Loon (Who Cares? Scotland) The young people, front row left to right: Ryan Oman, Susan Kenny, Jemma Macdonald, Emma Edmonds