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 our partner organisations. Effectively, we become corporate parents for the children and care leavers we look after.
This means 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)
The Corporate Parenting Board monitors the services we and our partners deliver to the children we look after and our care leavers, with the aim of continually improving outcomes. The Board is made up of elected members, Council officers and our partners.
Find out more about our representatives on the Corporate Parenting Board.
The Corporate Parenting Board worked with children and young people through 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 our 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.
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 our offices and partner locations to promote our Corporate Parenting responsibilities. Invite us to your workplace.
Children's Commissioning Team
Email - SomersetCorporateParentingBoard@somerset.gov.uk
Phone - 01823 355245
Children and Young People's Team
PO Box 618
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone - 0300 123 2224