Corporate parenting - turning legislation into practice together: report

This report reflects on Scotland’s looked after children, young people and care leavers and how they have benefitted from corporate parenting support.

Appendix B

Training and Support offered to Corporate Parents

Since before Part 9 came into force in April 2015 our partner organisations have been on hand to support all Corporate Parents. This enabled staff in different organisations with different statutory roles to learn about the specific responsibilities and how they relate to their organisation.

This hands-on approach was tailored to best meet the differing needs within such a broad range of organisations; all of whom have varying degrees of contact with care experienced children and young people. Importantly, it also reflects the ambition, underpinning Part 9 of the 2014 Act, to draw us all together as Corporate Parents to do more and do it better.

The Scottish Government provided funding support to develop advice and resources on corporate parenting. These are available from Who Cares? Scotland on the Corporate Parenting Learning Hub and the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland ( CELCIS) Corporate Parenting website.

Training and support provided by Who Cares? Scotland [22] has centred on bespoke learning for organisations at different stages of understanding corporate parenting responsibilities. This incorporated real life experiences of those with experience of care to ensure relevant and impactful engagement. Training was delivered as live face to face staff sessions, available as online digital resources and as feedback to those preparing and reviewing corporate parenting plans.

Support from CELCIS [23] reflects their expertise in implementation and their developing understanding of the evolving needs of organisations as they honed their practical approach to embedding corporate patenting responsibilities on an organisation-wide basis. CELCIS also developed the statutory guidance on Part 9 and worked collaboratively with Corporate Parents to develop a series of Practice Implementation Notes.

Who Cares? Scotland and CELCIS have observed a number of conditions must exist to successfully embed these messages. These can be summarised into themes, which very much reflect the feedback from Corporate Parents themselves: support and understanding at senior levels within organisations is essential, commitment to co-design, collaboration and shared learning between organisations immeasurably enhances the extent to which organisations can best meet the duties, and building on the organisations' unique potential as Corporate Parents to meaningfully engage with their relevant population of care experienced young people will maximise the impact they make.

Reflections from both organisations recognise that progress has been made. Corporate Parents are now better placed to understand the needs, circumstances and strengths of our looked after children and care leavers but there are a number of partially unmet challenges in providing opportunities to identify those with care experience.

In addition there have been a number of other organisations, such as those included below, who work with and/or fund organisations that contribute to our overall vision of a Scotland where all care experienced young people are empowered to fulfill their potential.

In supporting Corporate Parents they may provide funding or offer practice-based advice and discussions, to gather information and encourage dialogue between service providers and care experienced young people. These opportunities help fill any gaps where young people or those working in the care sector have been unable to discuss any number of issues from mental health to housing, health, education, employment or managing money. In the case of funding provision, they also support those seeking support to identify solutions.

Life Changes Trust
Fund organisations and groups to give young people with care experience a voice so they can influence change. Funding has directly supported the creation of Champion Boards.
The Scottish Care Leavers Covenant
Supports Corporate Parents to deliver change in action and practice to bring improvement and consistency to the care of young people.
Staf (formerly the Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum)
Through the 'Connecting Voices' campaign children and young people have been invited to meet their corporate parents. Current training and consultancy has a corporate parenting focus.
Scottish Funding Council
Have set a national ambition for care experienced students across the college and university sector. Working to improve national data on care experienced students in the college and university sectors. A Care Experienced Governance group holds them, colleges and universities to account with regard to the duties.
Centre for Youth Criminal Justice
Have supported Corporate Parents to understand youth justice practice, policy and research in Scotland, to inform the development of their Plans.


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