‘Corporate parent’ is the name given to the collective statutory responsibility of the whole council, and the personal responsibility of every councillor and council officer, for ensuring secure, nurturing and positive experiences for children in care and care leavers.
These responsibilities are defined in the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and extend to district councils, with other partners including health, police and education also having a duty to support the council to fulfil its corporate parenting role.
Being a corporate parent means being ambitious for children in care and care leavers and keeping an eye on the big things in their life – such as education, looking after their health and wellbeing, and preparing them for life as independent adults.
It’s also about the smaller things that show children they are valued and cared for.
All councillors should be championing the needs of children in care and care leavers, and relentlessly asking ‘Would this be good enough for my child?’ and ‘If I were that child, would it have been good enough for me?’
The LGA’s e-learning platform now provides councillors with a module offering an opportunity to learn more about corporate parenting, and how you as a councillor can use your role to support and encourage care-experienced children and young people to achieve their aspirations.
The module is illustrated with practical tips and good practice examples, as well as questions you can ask to both find out more, and to champion the needs of children in care and care leavers.
The content will be of interest to all councillors and could be particularly useful as part of an induction package for new councillors, or for those taking up a children’s scrutiny or corporate parenting board role for the first time.