Section 61: Reports by Corporate Parents
125. Under section 61 a corporate parent must report on how it has exercised its corporate parenting responsibilities under section 58, its planning and collaborating functions under sections 59 and 60, and its other functions under Part 9. Corporate parenting reports may include information about standards of performance, and the outcomes achieved for looked after children and young people. Corporate parenting reports should be published in such manner as the corporate parent (or group of corporate parents if a joint report) consider appropriate; this could mean publishing the report alongside other reports or documents (such as the corporate parenting plan) or as part of other reports or documents (such as an Annual Report).
126. A corporate parenting report should be published at least once every three years. The process for preparing and publishing a corporate parenting report should be part of a coherent process of planning, review and reporting. The report should be linked to the objectives and activities detailed in the plan, providing an analysis of progress and identifying any actions which could improve the way in which the corporate parent (or group of corporate parents) exercises its functions. As with the plan, the corporate parenting report should be easily accessible to both the eligible population and general public. Accessibility relates to the availability of the document ( e.g. published online), its format and language.
127. The content of corporate parenting reports will be shaped by the content of corporate parenting plans. At a minimum, every corporate parenting report must include information on:
- How the corporate parent (or group of corporate parents) has exercised the duties set out in section 58 (the 'corporate parenting responsibilities')
- How the corporate parent (or group of corporate parents) has fulfilled its functions in respect to planning, collaborative working with other corporate parents, preparing reports and, where relevant, providing information to Scottish Ministers and following directions issued by Scottish Ministers.
128. Within these sections, corporate parenting reports should detail the performance of corporate parents, including outcomes achieved. It will not be sufficient for corporate parenting reports to be narrative descriptions of activity. Corporate parenting reports must be based on data and analysis. As the guidance on corporate parenting plans stated, it is recommended that corporate parents set clear objectives, which their performance can be measured and reported upon. Where relevant, such as fulfilment of the duty to provide activities to promote wellbeing, reviews of performance should consider the quality of the opportunities provided, and not just the extent ( i.e. total number) or range. The purpose of Part 9 is to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of looked after children and care leavers, so all corporate parenting reports should explain how individual corporate parents have contributed to this aim.
129. Within corporate parenting reports it will be particularly important to detail how the wellbeing needs of looked after children and care leavers were identified, and how opportunities, services and supports were developed or made accessible to the eligible population (within the parameters set by the corporate parent's other functions). If publishing a joint report, corporate parents should ensure that their specific contributions are clearly stated.
130. It is important to note that many corporate parents are subject to reporting requirements under other Parts of the Act (in particular Parts 1 and 3) and other legislation ( e.g. Equalities Act 2010). Corporate parents are encouraged to make the links between these separate reporting requirements, combining reports, where relevant, into a single publication. Effective collaborative working between corporate parents should identify opportunities to facilitate the process of reporting on a range of separate but interrelated areas.
131. Scottish Ministers are not corporate parents for the purposes of sections 61‑64. This means they are exempt from this duty to report. However Scottish Ministers are subject to their own specific reporting duty, set out in section 65.
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