When a child goes into care, the tasks of their parents become the responsibility of everyone at the Council, including officers, members and school staff, and also our partner organisations. Effectively, we become corporate parents for those children we look after and care leavers.
What this means is that we have a legal and moral responsibility to improve the lives of all of those we look after and who leave our care. Just as we would with our own children, we must prioritise their needs and create the right conditions for them to thrive and have happy and fulfilling lives. This is a priority across the Council and not just for those working in Children's Services.
Corporate Parenting Board (CPB)
This group is in-place to monitor the services the council and its partners deliver to the children we look after and our care leavers, with the aim of continually improving outcomes. The CPB is made up of elected members, Council officers and our partners.
The Corporate Parenting Board worked with children and young people through the Somerset in Care Councils to develop a pledge to those in our care. It includes a number of promises for how we will look after and communicate with them. They go across seven themes:
Where I live
Contact with important people
Care planning, information and health
Look after reviews
Leaving care and preparation for independence
Sorting out problems and making complaints
The Corporate Parenting Board is monitoring the Council's progress against the promises in the pledge and can put measures in place to facilitate improvements where necessary.
Council officers, members and partner agencies can get involved in corporate parenting in a number of ways:
Consider becoming an advocate or independent visitor - does your area of work have opportunities for work experience or apprenticeships for those in care or care leavers? Find out more from Route1 Advocacy.
Consider how you and your colleagues can contribute to fulfilling the pledge
Making children looked after and care leavers a priority when they come to the attention of your service and in your commissioning.
Are you able to raise money for the STAR charity that benefits those in our care?
We regularly offer a half-day CPB training session. You can email us to register your interest - SomersetCorporateParentingBoard@somerset.gov.uk
Events and promotions
We visit Somerset County Council offices and partner locations to promote our Corporate Parenting responsibilities. Invite us to your workplace.
Children and Young People's Team
PO Box 618
Phone: 0300 123 2224