Making a Difference to Corporate Parenting

The Board recently followed up on its review of the role of councillors as corporate parents, to assess progress and the impact of its work.

Considering the various recommendations made by the Board the Cabinet Member for Social Services, Councillor Nick Tregoning presented an action plan. The Board also heard from the Chair of the Corporate Parenting Forum, as a number of recommendations were aimed in its direction.

The Board was very pleased with the impact that its scrutiny review was having. In particular the way that the Council’s Corporate Parenting Forum appeared to be developing was welcomed.

As a result of the Board’s work, the following are highlighted:

  • councillors have renewed their commitment to corporate parenting
  • councillor role descriptions have been amended to give explicit reference to corporate parenting
  • plans are being developed to ensure that councillors elected in 2012 will be fully aware of their responsibilities as corporate parents and receive sufficient training and advice
  • performance information will be provided to all councillors on looked after children every month to keep awareness levels high
  • the Corporate Parenting Forum has developed its role with a more focussed purpose and, amongst other things, will report annually to Council on its work and issues, and identify more effective methods of engaging with looked after children
  • greater engagement is being promoted between councillors, professionals involved with looked after children, and carers

The Council elections next year will present a significant challenge and much thought needs to be given about preparing new councillors for their role as corporate parents. The more that this information is communicated by fellow councillors, and delivered in an interactive way, the more successful it is likely to be.

Finally, the guide that the Board produced as part of its review has also generated interest elsewhere. We have had a number of requests to use the content by other Local Authorities.  The councillors who worked on this review should be particularly pleased with the difference that their work is making.

Comments

  1. Rose Seabourne says:

    I was delighted to read the work that has continued since my involvement with Swansea you should be very proud that Councillors have the wellbeing of the children and young people of Swansea at the forefront of their workstream long may it continue. Well done

  2. Brij Madahar says:

    Thank you Rose for you kind words and for keeping in touch. The recommendations from this review will be followed up by the Board again early 2012 so it will be interesting to see how plans have developed for the councillor induction.

  3. Mark Child says:

    Thanks Rose.
    There needs to be a number of ways embedded in to council proceedings to keep reinforcing the message of responsibility. The induction process is clearly one, but senior officers, the Cabinet Member and Scrutiny need to regularly reinforce the message and challenge all to demonstrate they do undertake the role of Corporate Parent.

  4. Christine Richards says:

    Agree with Mark’s comments. In my mind our role is simple & summed up by one simple phrase……. ‘ If this were my child’.

Trackbacks

  1. […] The Child & Family Services Overview & Scrutiny Board recently followed up on the report it produced last year on the Role of Councillors as Corporate Parents. […]

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