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.

4) A Wider View of Our Corporate Parenting Duties and Responsibilities

"The college offers great support for all care experienced students and the Learning Support team and Horizon Centre is always available to all students. Don't ever feel like you are on your own because New College Lanarkshire is with you every step of the way." Learner, New College Lanarkshire

This Section takes a wider view of the background to and context of corporate parenting. It makes links with selected policies of significance, which together comprise a comprehensive framework with a common feature, improving outcomes for all of Scotland's children and young people.

The 2014 Act and Statutory Guidance 2015 [9] encourage preventative measures, rather than reactive responses whenever a care experienced child, young person or their family needs help. They set out actions for the public sector to deliver to meet the Scottish Government's ambition for making Scotland the best place in the world to grow up. Focusing public sector reform towards early intervention and prolonged support for valued, trusted relationships places emphasis on improving outcomes for children and young people and their families and carers.

"The team is flexible and willing to work out of office hours and do anything for young people that ordinarily in Social Work would not be seen as normal and they are very approachable in every way. They are constantly involved with young people in making decisions, not just individual decisions but decisions involving outings, events even things involving the service." Care experienced young person on East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership Youth Intensive Support Service

This approach builds on previous commitments such as These Are Our Bairns: A Guide for Community Planning Partnerships on Being a Good Corporate Parent [10] in 2008 and the Future Delivery of Public Services [11] by the Commission chaired by Dr Campbell Christie in 2011. This is the 'Scottish approach' to design and delivery of public services. As a nation, we absolutely recognise the fundamental need to move beyond silo working and drive necessary change to embed collaborative working in Scotland.

Corporate parenting responsibilities are directed at those in the public sector who, because of their statutory role, must make every effort to fully understand the issues faced by Scotland's looked after children and care leavers in order to respond to their needs. Section 6 of this Report on Promising Practice, includes some working examples of how Corporate Parents are actively collaborating.

Corporate parenting complements our national approach to children's rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child ( UNCRC), Getting it Right for Every Child ( GIRFEC) [12] and our eight wellbeing indicators, commonly referred to as SHANARRI, which are illustrated in Figure 2 and explained in more detail in the Scottish Government's Understanding Wellbeing leaflet [13] . Taken together these approaches represent a fundamentally holistic view of how to approach each child or young person's needs; identifying strengths as well as barriers to growth and development.

This ensures that we are all explicitly focused on the task of 'safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of looked after children and care leavers.

Figure 2, Our eight wellbeing indicators
Figure 2, Our eight wellbeing indicators

In addition, each Corporate Parent must prepare, keep under review, and publish a corporate parenting Plan and, report as required, on how corporate parenting responsibilities have been exercised. This includes providing information to Scottish Ministers to inform each Report to Parliament and acting on any subsequent ministerial guidance.

Scottish Ministers, including the Scottish Government Executive Agencies [14] and Scottish Government Directorates, are all Corporate Parents with exemptions from some duties set out in sections 61 – 64. However, all are included in Ministers' early commitment to the principles of corporate parenting and the First Minister is recognised by care experienced children and young people as de facto 'Chief Corporate Parent'. Corporate Parents are illustrated in Figure 3

Our Corporate Parents


Back to top