Our Response

We have consulted widely with our membership (please see attached membership list) regarding the Guidance for Corporate Parents and facilitated different events for senior managers, frontline practitioners and young people enabling them to contribute their views. These events were attended by over 200 individuals and young people from across Scotland.

There is overwhelming support and recognition of the great strides forward Scotland is making in terms of Corporate Parenting being placed on a Statutory footing. However, there are many concerns and suggestions for improvement as we move towards the 1st April 2015.

The following is a summary of our memberships insight and feedback:

Our members are in broad agreement that the guidance provides clarity in terms of what corporate parenting is and how those corporate parents are supposed to exercise their duties. They are also in agreement that the given definition covers what they understand a Corporate Parent to be.

‘At long last it is everyone’s responsibility….’

‘I see many organisations taking our young people more seriously and providing extra support. It seems people have heard. Things are changing.’

They do however feel that further clarity will be required for some corporate parents who they already work with and who struggle to understand the concept.

‘When we stop and think about people working in organisations who are corporate parents and their understanding of the corporate parenting concept we see (from a TCAC service perspective) that this knowledge and understanding is very limited’

We would suggest that any practice notes which are to be issued address this issue and provide concrete practice examples for staff within organisations who are Corporate Parents.

There is some feeling however, that the guidance does not go far enough in its attempts to clarify roles and responsibilities and many practitioners felt that it would be useful for colleagues in other local authority departments and organisations to have concrete examples of what Corporate Parenting might look like in practice for them. There is also strong feeling that these should be aspirational and offer something real for young people.

‘The guidance does not go far enough in its sentiment. Corporate Parents need to be given examples of what this support should and could look like eg guidance could have said here are things you can provide as a CP eg free travel, fast track mental health service for all LAC etc’

We would suggest that a practice note be developed to help new and existing Corporate Parents with practical fulfilment of their Corporate Parenting duties.

There is recognition that the Guidance puts a more collaborative approach to Corporate Parenting and planning on a statutory footing which is welcomed by our members.

‘We need to build and foster a culture of honesty, transparency and collaborative working. Sharing practice which is successful’

‘Organisations to take part in collaborative events at all levels. Leadership to develop agenda at local and national levels’

‘Connecting up all partners to a shared vision and action. Need to involve families and carers in this and listen to and hear the voices of young people. It’s a top down, bottom up approach simultaneously’

‘We need to start dialogues. We need to involve all levels. We need to be open to new ideas’

We look forward to working with Corporate Parents and connecting them to our membership in order to strengthen local and National partnerships.

More clarity is required as to how corporate parents are to assess the wellbeing of young people. In particular more guidance is required in terms of accessing the views of young people and how those Corporate Parents who do not provide direct services to young people will do this.

More clarity is also required as to how the assessment of wellbeing made by Corporate Parents interfaces with other assessments (particularly of eligible needs).

‘what happens if a corporate parents assessment of wellbeing is different or contradicts the assessment made of an eligible need? Will the throughcare and aftercare team be left to carry the can?’

We would suggest that a practice note is developed to provide more clarity on this issue and provide working examples of what any assessment of wellbeing might look like.

The young people that we have been working with have been sharing their views regarding what they think Corporate Parenting is, should and could be.

‘we want to be safe, wanted feel important and be loved.’

‘we want to be listened to and feel like what we are saying is being taken seriously.’

Managers too were keen to stress and point out the importance of listening to young people and their needs.

‘We need to listen to young people and act on values as well as legislation. Attitudes shouldn’t be ‘we have to be Corporate Parents’ but we get to be Corporate Parents. Remember that this is a process. It is important that we care and love.’

‘The real meaning for me today was hearing YP talk about their needs – their emotional world is very important – how can we deliver this for them?’

We look forward to working with our members and strengthening relationships across the Corporate Parenting family order to improve services and outcomes for care experienced young people across Scotland.