Children in care and care leavers partnership plan 2022-2024
- Our children in care and care leavers
- How well are we doing for our children in care and care leavers?
- Achieving the best outcomes – Key areas of focus 2022 – 2024
- Corporate Parents
- The Responsibilities of Corporate Parents
- Governance arrangements for effective Corporate Parenting
- The Corporate Parenting Board
- The Multi-Agency Looked After Partnership
- The Voice of Children in Care and Care Leavers
- The Children in Care Council
- What will success look like?
- Appendix 1: Our Corporate Parenting Promise
- Appendix 2: Corporate Parenting Development
- Appendix 3: 2022 – 2024 Delivery Plan
Welcome to our Children in Care and Care Leavers Partnership Plan 2022 – 2024.
We are proud of our place and our people. Children are at the heart of what we do and as corporate parents, children in care and care leavers are our children, and we are proud to acknowledge and celebrate the positive outcomes achieved to date through strong partnerships.
Our One Council, One Family, One Place culture has meant more children remaining in or returning to their families. This creates better stability for those in our care and those who progress into adulthood. Children in our care are achieving better in their education, even fewer children in care are becoming involved in anti-social behaviour or offending, and further improved connectivity for all our children and young people.
In North Lincolnshire, our One Family Approach, underpinned by our core values and strengths based, solution focussed and relational practice model, aims to create a system that works for all children, young people and families.
Our ambition is for children to be in their family, in their school and in their community.
This plan builds on successes and achievements. It is set within a framework of strong corporate parenting, excellent individual care planning and a firm focus on the voice, needs and wishes of children and young people.
For those few children who need to be in the care of the council, we will continue to invest in family-based care to achieve stability and permanence and help them to return home, or within high quality family placements where this is not possible.
We recognise the invaluable role our foster carers play in this and express our ongoing commitment to them as partners in providing the best care for our children.
We will continue to build on our integrated offer to care leavers co-producing with young people as partners to develop and further strengthen our leaving care services and enable those leaving care to be an integral part of our strong and safe communities.
We are ambitious for the future and for our children and young people, and we have high expectations of ourselves as a partnership. Working holistically with children, families and communities, through the fewest, best interventions to improve outcomes.
We want children, young people and families, as partners, to be able to build upon their strengths and their resilience to find or be enabled to find solutions when things are not going so well. To be able to access available information, advice, guidance and be enabled to maximise their potential and enhance their life chances.
We want all children and families to have a sense of belonging and equality of opportunity and through our integrated working, we will address inequalities and enable those more in need to achieve positive outcomes.
As the Cabinet Member for and Director of Children and Families, we have specific roles and responsibilities for children in care and care leavers and we will continue to celebrate and engage our children and young people. Underpinned by our values of equality of opportunity, excellence, self-responsibility and integrity, we all, as active corporate parents, will continue to work together helping our children be the best they can be.
This plan sets out our key priorities, promise and commitment to all our children in care and care leavers and it expresses our ambitious agenda for further improvements.
Under the umbrella of the Integrated Children’s Trust partners, our North Lincolnshire Children’s Commissioning Strategy 2020-2024 clarifies our integrated One Family Approach and commissioning intent in relation to health, social care and education for children, young people and families.
The One Family Approach – Helping Children and Families in North Lincolnshire 2020-2024 sets out how services support children, young people and families to participate, find help online and in their networks and communities, to be resilient and stay independent.
We want to hear the voice of our children and their families as partners, working together to co-produce the best services, help and impact. By listening, learning, reviewing and adapting; by taking account of our performance information and intelligence, by listening to our children, young people, families and taking account of the Children’s Challenge 2020-2024, we will continue to identify and highlight specific areas of focus to ‘shine a light’ on.
We want children, young people and families to be supported by a workforce that is resilient, confident, competent and with authorisation to do what they think is the right thing to do. That listens to families, works to build upon the child and family’s strengths and helps them find solutions. We will continue to build an integrated workforce that works with the whole family and where we provide help through the fewest, best interventions.
We want to create equality of opportunities by acknowledging inequalities and removing barriers and we will prioritise services to our most vulnerable children and young people so they have fair and equitable opportunities to be the best they can be, irrespective of their background and circumstances.
This plan, in conjunction with the Children in Care and Care Leavers Sufficiency Strategy 2022-2024, is monitored and reviewed through our well-established performance improvement mechanisms, including monthly performance monitoring and tracking, quarterly self-evaluation and review process and oversight by the Multi-Agency Looked After Children’s Partnership and Corporate Parenting Board.
Our children in care and care leavers
Who are our children in care and care leavers?
- Children who are in the care of, or are provided with accommodation by, the council are looked after by the council up to the age of 18 and are encouraged to remain living with their carer past this age in ‘Staying Put’ or ‘Staying Close’ arrangements
- After 18 they cease to be ‘in care’ but the council continues to have responsibility under the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 (as updated in 2010) to provide advice, guidance and assistance up to 25
- In North Lincolnshire, about five out of every 1,000 children are in care at any given time and the overall care population continues to be lower than statistical and national comparators
- For children who enter care on a voluntary basis, their parent retains parental responsibility. For those children where the council has applied to the court for a ‘care order’, the council can share this responsibility along with the parents and or act on behalf of the child where this is not possible
- Over the last five years there was an increase in the number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children presenting in North Lincolnshire. These young people become the responsibility of the council in the same way as other children in care and become care leavers as they reach adulthood.
‘Corporations don’t parent children, people parent children’
How well are we doing for our children in care and care leavers?
‘Support you and your children while you gain life experience and become independent from us’
We continue to provide a wide range of services that help improve and enable the best possible outcomes for children in care and care leavers in their:
- learning, education and training
- emotional, mental and physical health
- social interactions and positive, fun activities
- relationships with those who are important to them
- positive engagement with communities and networks
- progression to successful adulthood and continuing support as adults.
The Children in Care and Care Leavers Plan 2020-2022 identified a number of key drivers of success. We said we would focus on:
- permanence and stability for all children in care and care leavers
- education outcomes for all children in care
- opportunities in education, employment and training for care leavers
- ensure that robust planning and support is in place to enable all young people to return to education and training following the disruption of COVID 19
- stability and choice for care leavers within their own accommodation
- further development of the One Family Approach to enable children to remain within and return to live with their families from care
- working with partners and the community to meet the challenge of reducing harm and potential harm to young people who take part in risk facing behaviours
- ensuring the needs of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are met through a partnership approach.
We have made strong progress in these areas and examples of our successes include:
- All our care leavers who live in the community have suitable high-quality accommodation and support overseen by their personal advisor
- All children in care have up-to-date health checks, assessments and reviews of their health needs and individual health plans supported by a designated looked after children’s doctor and nurse.
- All children in care have a ‘Strengths and Difficulties’ (SDQ) questionnaire to assess their emotional health. All children who are assessed as having ‘high’ needs are prioritised for a CAMHS service.
- The majority of North Lincolnshire’s care leavers are in education, employment and training – with rates well above England and statistical neighbour comparisons
- Few children in care have moved school within the last year
- Improving performance in relation to children achieving educational qualifications
- Children and young people receiving additional support to achieve in their education, training and employment
- Very few children in care in North Lincolnshire commit offences and this indicator continues to be lower than the England average
- Reducing numbers of children in care experiencing suspension from school
- Developed further opportunities for children in care and care leavers to engage in training and employment.
- A small and reducing minority of children live outside the council area. The proportion of children in care living outside of the area has reduced substantially, continues to be very low and compares favourably with England and statistical neighbours
- Most children in care in North Lincolnshire experience stability in their workers, schools and care
- All care leavers living in their own accommodation are provided with free wi-fi to ensure they are able to be connected.
- The rate of children in care has continued to reduce and is now lower than statistical neighbours and the England average
- Fewer children are entering care demonstrating the success of the One Family Approach in enabling children to remain in their families, schools and communities
- More children who have been supported to return to their families through the ‘You Say Who’ approach
- Improved stability for children in care and care leavers
- More children leaving care to legal permanence through adoption or SGO
- All care leavers have an allocated personal advisor (PA) up to the age of 21 years and this continues up to the age of 25 if the young person wishes with an open door for advice and support whatever their age
- Building on and embedded the North Lincolnshire approach to Risk Outside the Home with very low numbers of children in care and care leavers identified as at risk of or experiencing exploitation
- Built on and further developed the Independent Visitor scheme for children in care ensuring they are available for all children who need them.
Achieving the best outcomes – key areas of focus 2022 – 2024
“an open door for support and advice, whatever your age”
To build on the success of the Children in Care and Care Leavers Plan 2020 – 2022 and enable children to achieve the best outcomes possible key areas of focus will be:
- Building on and further developing the role of corporate parents across the partnership
- Strengthening and improving parent/families’ ability to care, continuing to seek positive change, review progress and build relationships with those who are important to the child.
- Continuing with and building upon our ambition and belief that children should live with their family, their school and their community including through ‘You Say Who’
- Prioritising stability and permanence for children in care and care leavers
- Continuing to build on and develop engagement with and the voice of children in care and care leavers
- Developing further opportunities to promote employability including through friendly employer schemes and volunteering opportunities
- Supporting children to achieve in their education, recognising the impact of Covid-19 and providing additional support as needed
- Recognising and providing the support children and young people need to experience good emotional wellbeing
- Continue to build on and develop the access to and availability of Independent Visitors for children in care
- Providing an open door across the partnership for advice and support to care leavers throughout their lives.
“Have ambitions for you and support you to reach your goals”
The role of corporate parents
The role of a good corporate parent is to enable the outcomes that every good parent would want for their own children.
A good parent:
- puts their child or young person first
- keeps them safe and advocates for them
- meets all their needs
- helps them to ‘be the best they can be’
- supports them through to adulthood and independence
- helps them for as long as and whenever needed.
Throughout their care journey, the council and partners have a duty to provide for the child or young person’s needs in the way that a good parent would. As corporate parents, we must work together to provide everything that a good parent would. We must collectively care about these children and young people, as well as care for them.
The children in care council described corporate parents as people who:
‘Give us options to help us be successful in life and achieve our goals. They set us up for life’
The moral imperative to improve outcomes for children in care is underpinned by specific roles and duties:
- The Children Act 2004 makes it clear that the council must take the lead, via its Lead Member for and Director of Children’s Services (in North Lincolnshire this is the Cabinet Member for Children and Families and Director of Children and Families), in bringing together a partnership designed to address the needs of children in care and care leavers. This is the Corporate Parenting Board.
- The statutory guidance on the roles and responsibilities of the Director of Children’s Services and the Lead Member for Children’s Services 2013 covers the legislative basis for the two appointments, roles and responsibilities of the post holders, and how this relates to Government expectations about local authorities’ role in education and children and young people’s services. This includes all children in the care of the council (regardless of where they are placed).
- Further statutory guidance places specific powers upon partner agencies to provide specific services for children in care or contribute to working together to meet the needs of these children. Under section 10 of the 2004 Act, partners of the council are under a duty to cooperate in this endeavour, and schools have a duty to promote the well-being of children in care, Clinical Commissioning Group have statutory guidance to underpin their role and commitment to children in care.
- The Children and Social Work Act 2017 further strengthens the expectations to work together as corporate parents to achieve positive outcomes for children in care and care leavers. This includes defined corporate parenting principles including to act in the best interests and promote physical and mental health and well-being, encouraging children to express their views, wishes and feelings and taking these into account making the best use of services to promote high aspirations and seek to secure the best outcomes. Also, to achieve stability in their home lives, relationships and education or work and prepare children and young people for adulthood. It also expects the council to publish a local offer to care leavers.
- The 2016 government publication ‘Keep on Caring – Supporting Young People from Care to Independence, 2016’ clearly outlines the government’s commitment to promoting and improving outcomes for care leavers. They set out five key outcomes that need to be achieved through effective corporate parenting. They are:
- all young people should be better prepared and supported to live independently
- improve access to education, employment and training.
- care leavers should experience stability in their lives, and feel safe and secure
- improved access to health support
- care leavers should achieve financial stability.
North Lincolnshire has an established model of corporate parenting. It includes well-defined decision-making processes in the council with clear links to the Children in Care Council. Senior leaders regularly reviews how we deliver these functions and that there are tangible outcomes through active and regular feedback from children and young people.
Test version of image above:
Children’s Multi-Agency Resilience and Safeguarding (CMARS) Board (Statutory) – Scrutiny Committee (Democratic) – Integrated Children’s Trust (Partnership) –
Children and Young People’s Partnership (Stakeholder)
Corporate Parenting Champions – Corporate Parenting Board – Children in Care Council
Multi-Agency Looked After Partnership
Make sure services and support are available to help you to be the best you can be
The role of the Corporate Parenting Board is to take a clear strategic lead in ensuring better outcomes for children in care and care leavers – aligning political ambition to deliver beyond statutory duties. The Corporate Parenting Board is chaired by the Cabinet Member for Children and Families and is attended by Elected Members, the Director of Children and Families, the Senior Leadership Team and senior partners to enable children and young people to be at the centre.
The board has a significant impact in raising the profile of children in care in the council and with partners as well as building strong council and cross agency commitment to children in care. It focuses on leadership and innovation in the corporate parenting role and ensures service promises are implemented.
The Multi-Agency Children in Care and Care Leavers Partnership reports to the Corporate Parenting Board through the Multi-Agency Looked After Partnership group (MALAP), relevant corporate parenting champions and board members. This includes reports from the Virtual Head for Children in Care and the Designated Nurse for Children in Care as well as in relation to the safeguarding of children in care and key priorities as defined by the board.
The Corporate Parenting Board:
- Oversees and leads on ensuring progress on this plan, making sure that all services provide support and take action to honour the promises made to children and young people
- Oversees the impact that the Multi-Agency Looked After Children Partnership has on children in care and care leavers ensuring action is taken if needed
- Engages with children in care and care leavers to ensure that there is meaningful communication and partnership in delivering the promise
- Has line of sight on key areas and developing issues
- Corporate Parenting Champions are part of the Corporate Parenting Board and:
- ensure implementation of their action plans to make the promise real for children in care
- provide opportunities for wider discussions and sharing experiences in carrying out the promises
- report on the delivery, outcomes and activity in the implementation of promises.
Members of the Corporate Parenting Board provide the collective leadership required to improve outcomes for children in care and care leavers. Partners provide the additional commitment to children in care and care leavers that a parent who is ambitious for their children would make. This shared commitment across partner organisations means that we work together to ensure:
- children in care and care leavers are a priority and have priority access to services
- children in care and care leavers should have stability and permanence
- children in care and care leavers are enabled to be safe, healthy, ambitious and to achieve their full potential
- children in care and care leavers are supported to maintain and build relationships with those who are important to them
- children remain in and return to their family, school and community wherever this is possible
- children in care and care leavers are involved in their plan and in helping to shape and to improve services
- we continue to challenge ourselves and each other to promote diversity and inclusion and ensure the diverse needs of children in care and care leavers are met and they are treated fairly with dignity and respect.
- corporate parents are equipped to meet the needs of our children in care and care leavers
- care leavers have the support, help and advice they need whatever their age
- these commitments are articulated in more detail within our Corporate Parenting Promise (Appendix 1)
This is a multi-agency group of managers and responsible officers that plans, reviews, monitors and develops all aspects of our work in relation to our statutory and aspirational work with children in care and care leavers.
The Multi-Agency Looked After Partnership:
- oversees and reports to the Corporate Parenting Board on the implementation of the 2022-2024 Delivery Plan, monitoring progress and taking action as appropriate – reporting on its progress to the board
- develops exception and summary reports for presentation to the Corporate Parenting Board.
- reports on performance and activity
- has line of sight on key areas, practice and performance.
The Multi-Agency Looked After Partnership ensures that the partnership continuously seeks to improve the full range of outcomes for our children and young people, these include the safeguarding of children in care and care leavers, ensuring they have stability in their living arrangements and relationships, achieve good health and wellbeing, their potential and aspirations in their education, training and employment.
An important stakeholder group with the voice of children and young people strongly represented, the CYPP sets a local agenda for improving outcomes. The CYPP in consultation with the Youth Council has agreed and supports the ambitions that:
- children in care and care leavers feel safe and are safe
- children in care and care leavers enjoy good health and emotional wellbeing
- children in care and care leavers recognise and achieve their potential.
The Children in Care Council (CiCC) represents all children in care and care leavers in North Lincolnshire. It is integral to, and plays a key role in, the involvement of children in and leaving care in developing services, ensuring their voices are heard and children and young people having a real say in the issues that affect their lives.
To ensure that services are effective in delivering on the above priorities the partnership recognises the importance of listening, taking note of, and acting upon messages from all the children and young people in and leaving our care.
This means placing children and young people at the centre of planning, developments and practice and providing a variety of opportunities for them to be genuine partners in planning for the things that affect them.
As a learning organisation we ensure systems are in place to capture comments made by individuals and apply these in a more general way so that innovation and effective practice is shared and embedded in the work of all staff.
As corporate parents we will listen to, and take into account, the wishes and feelings of every child and young person in our care, and those that have left our care.
This is demonstrated at every level through the plans that we make and the records that we keep. This happens informally on a day-to-day basis and formally, for example as part of child in care and Pathway Plan reviews; through consistently obtaining regular feedback and checking that children and young people understand their plans and the reasons for decisions and actions taken.
Over the last decade, the CiCC has been fully involved in reviewing services. It meets regularly with the Cabinet Member for Children and Families, the Director of Children and Families, Independent Reviewing Officers, the Advocacy Officer, workers from Social Work and Fostering Teams and senior officers from across the council and its partners.
The CiCC has been consulted on, been involved with or given feedback on a number of issues, recent examples include:
- The assessment and recruitment of foster carers as part of the approval process
- Interviewing and appointing staff across services
- The design, development and implementation of the annual Corporate Parenting Week
- The design and use of a number of forms, procedures, guides
- Consultation and development of information and leaflets
- Development of the Integrated Offer to Care Leavers
- Development of wi-fi for all care leavers in their accommodation
- The Corporate Parenting Promise
- Regular attendance and input into the Corporate Parenting Board – including challenge questions to the board members.
We will continue to build on engaging children and young people so that their voice is integral to our practice. This includes listening to their feedback and comments on the best way to engage with children and being flexible and responsive to their needs and requests.
The Voice of Children in Care and Care Leavers
‘Ask your views, listen to what you say and act on it’
The voice of the children in our care and young people who have left care is integral to all aspects of the work we do and the delivery of this plan. Children in care and care leavers have been engaged with, involved and consulted throughout and their views, ideas and feedback have informed the review of progress and development of this plan.
Their voice is heard through a variety of mechanisms including through individual feedback on their care, their plans, the support they receive and via independent advocates and reviewing officers. Also, through consultation tools including Child and Family Feedback and wider consultation including a bespoke consultation on the changes to practices during Covid-19.
What will success look like?
‘Celebrate your successes and achievements’
Achieving these outcomes for children in care and care leavers will require:
- empowering children in care and care leavers
- building family and community capacity
- developing the workforce.
It is important that we, and our young people, are able to hold us to account against our priorities, and that we ensure that we achieve our collective goals as corporate parents. We have, therefore, identified priority success measures that will help us know whether we are getting it right for our children in care and care leavers:
- All children in care and care leavers have the support and encouragement they need to be active and live healthy lifestyles
- All Care Leavers have a health passport and are registered with local health services in their community.
- The emotional well-being of children in care and care leavers is improved through bespoke packages of support tailored to their needs.
- Children in care and care leavers report improved emotional well-being and mental health and that they feel they are supported to achieve this.
- Children in care attend education that meets their needs
- All children and young people have aspirational educational targets supported by outcome-based plans
- Children in care and care leavers achieve their full potential in line with or above their assessed projected attainment
- The diverse needs of children in care and care leavers are met and children and young people say they are treated fairly with dignity and respect
- Children in care and care leavers have the opportunity to experience the world of work, to gain employability skills and to plan for their futures
- The life opportunities of children in care and care leavers are improved through access to higher education and bespoke apprenticeships for children in care and care leavers
- Children in care and care leavers are supported by a knowledgeable and high-quality workforce.
- All children in care and care leavers have an identified ‘team’ of social and professional support in line with their wishes and feelings
- Children and young people are supported through the ‘You Say Who’ model
- All children in care and care leavers have access to equipment that enables them to connect with the ‘on-line’ world
- 100% of our care leavers in semi-independent accommodation have access to the internet
- Children and young people are empowered and enabled to participate in their community
- Every child is given the opportunity to take part in positive activities
- 100% of Care Leavers are offered the opportunity to attend suitable drop-in support sessions, access advocacy support, and are aware of their rights to make a complaint if required
- Children’s views are fully considered in their plans and the services we deliver and regarding future service delivery
- All children in care and care leavers have the opportunity to be a part of the children in care council and events
- Children say they feel listened to and that their voice makes a difference.
- Children in care have access to and choice of care to meet their needs and experience stability in their home and relationships
- All Care Leavers live in high quality, suitable accommodation
- Adolescents develop resilience and tell us they feel safe and confident in their communities
- Fewer children in care and care leavers identified as at risk of or experiencing exploitation
- Children in care and care leavers are able to build sustained relationships with an allocated social worker or personal advisor
- Care leavers are supported by a suitably qualified and experienced personal advisor who remains their worker for the duration of their journey as a care leaver
- Children are supported to remain within, or have opportunities to return to, their families and the community
- Children who need them have access to Independent Visitors
- Practice is scrutinised and challenged by an effective Independent Reviewing Service to ensure the best outcomes for children and young people.
|Lead||March 2022||Ben Dent/Jane Brennan/Paula Salmons|
|Approved||April 2022||Paul Cowling / Rachel Smith|
|Review date||April 2024||Annual update April 2023|
Appendix 1: Our Corporate Parenting Promise
The council, the lead member, the director of children and families and partners on the Corporate Parenting Board take a clear strategic lead to ensure we fulfil our responsibilities towards our children in care and care leavers and children and young people experience better outcomes.
The Corporate Parenting Promise has been in place in North Lincolnshire for a number of years. It has been developed with members of the Children in Care Council to set out the commitment of corporate parents towards children in care and care leavers. The promise has been central to delivering corporate parenting that is aspirational and effective.
Building on the on-going support and involvement of corporate parents from all agencies to further develop this, plan for the future and ensure that our aspirations for children in care and care leavers are clear, developmental and forward thinking, we have developed the promise in conjunction with implementing our Care Leavers Local Offer.
The Children in Care Council have also further reviewed the promise and we have collectively agreed the revised North Lincolnshire Corporate Parenting Promise 2022-2024. The purpose is to have a child-focused, aspirational and comprehensive promise to children in care and care leavers.
The Children and Social Work Act 2017 sets out the following Corporate Parenting Principles:
- act in the best interests, and promote the physical and mental health and well-being, of children in care and care leavers
- encourage them to express their views, wishes and feelings
- take into account their views, wishes and feelings
- help children in care and care leavers gain access to, and make the best use of, services provided by the local authority and its relevant partners
- promote high aspirations, and seek to secure the best outcomes for them
- for children in care and care leavers to be safe, and for stability in their home lives, relationships and education or work
- prepare children in care and care leavers for adulthood and independent living.
- tells children and young people what they can expect from North Lincolnshire Council and partners as a child in care or care leavers
- encourages best practice
- promotes positive and better outcomes
- reinforces the corporate parenting responsibilities of all partners
- provides clear information on the services, support and resources all partners will deliver to children in care and care leavers.
The Children in Care Council have been consulted regarding the Promise and agreed its content.
The council and partners re-confirmed the collective commitment to the promise at a formal sign-up to the promise during the North Lincolnshire Corporate Parenting Week in October 2021
Complementing the Corporate Parenting Promise, the council and its partners have also committed to the Local Offer to Care Leavers.
This document tells care leavers about all the help that is available to them. It ensures that care leavers know where and who to go to for advice and help. Care leavers helped us design this local offer and we will continue to listen to their views to make sure the services we offer are what they need.
Additionally, North Lincolnshire Council supports the Barnardo’s Beyond Care Campaign so that care leavers in North Lincolnshire have good accommodation and support.
As corporate parents for children in care and care leavers in North Lincolnshire, We promise to:
- Ask your views, listen to what you say and act on it
- Support you and give you the information you need to lead a healthy lifestyle
- Support you to feel safe
- Support you to keep in touch with the people who are important to you
- Make sure people and support are available to help you to be the best you can be
- Have ambitions for you and support you to reach your goals
- Have high expectations of you and expect you to act sensibly, but also take into account what is going on in your life at the time
- Support you to get the education and training you need and help you develop your skills and achieve your goals in life
- Work with you to support other children and young people who may have had similar experiences
- Offer training and work experience and support you to find employment
- Support you and your whole family while you learn and gain life experience towards independence
- Offer an open door for support and advice, whatever your age
- Celebrate your successes and achievements
- Help you be involved in your community.
Appendix 2: Corporate Parenting Development
Corporate parenting development is important to ensure that all partners, senior officers and elected members understand the needs of children in care and care leavers, their responsibilities and how they can support the children and young people as corporate parents.
The Services to Children Workforce Strategy sets out in detail the council’s approach to ensuring the workforce has the capacity to improve outcomes.
Elected members have a responsibility to ensure that services for our children and young people are good and to ensure there are sufficient resources and accommodation choice. Elected members also take part in visits to children’s homes, scrutinise services and have an overview of performance measures to ensure children in care and care leavers are safe and services are effective.
All elected members are expected to undertake training to ensure they have the knowledge to fulfil their safeguarding and corporate parenting responsibilities.
The council’s overall commitment to the children in our care is contained within the North Lincolnshire Corporate Parenting promise. The council regularly reviews how we deliver these functions and ensure tangible outcomes through active and regular feedback from the children and young people.
The corporate parenting training details the responsibilities and roles of members and senior officers as corporate parents for children in and leaving care. The training provides information on the care population in North Lincolnshire, the roles of carers and services and the needs of children in care and care leavers.
The training includes understanding of attachment and the impact on children in care and care leavers, case examples and exercises to highlight the role of members as corporate parents. It is based around the National Children’s Bureau guide “Putting Corporate Parenting into Practice – A Handbook for Councillors” and the LGA ”Corporate Parenting Resource Pack”.
It provides the opportunity for elected members and senior officers to discuss issues relating to corporate parenting, share ideas and raises awareness of the issues facing children in and leaving care.