What difference does having 'Corporate Parents' make to Bexley children.
Bexley is committed to ensuring all our ' looked after children' are given every opportunity to experience a safe, healthy, happy life.
When a child or young person becomes a looked after (a foster child) they become the responsibility of the Local Authority. This means that all members and officers of the council need to make sure that the 'right' decisions are being made for the child, they need to be concerned about the child as if they were their own child - they are called 'Corporate Parents',
The concern for the child's welfare and safety should be extended to the child's education, health and overall welfare, including social and leisure activities, holidays, ambitions and career aspirations, how the young person celebrates their culture and how they receive praise and encouragement for their achievements.
The role of the corporate parent is to seek for the Bexley looked after child the same standard of care and support that every good parent would want for their own child.
Corporate Parents should ask themselves:
If this were my child, would it be good enough for him or her?
If I were that child, would it have been good enough for me?
How could I make it better.
Principles at the heart of Corporate Parenting
- Looked After Children are entitled to the same care, support stability, health and education as our own children.
- We need to ensure that services are flexible enough to support children having high quality lives, and happy childhoods.
- Looked after children are actively encouraged to participate in decisions made about their lives, so that their experience influences policy and practice.
- Access for looked after children to universal services is actively promoted encouraging young people's sense of community and belonging.
- Service provision, communication and policies meet the needs of children with disabilities, and children from a range of cultural and religious backgrounds.
- Corporate Parenting does not cease at 18.
- Corporate Parents challenge negative perceptions and stereotypes and raise awareness at all levels of the County Councils.
- Corporate Parenting is about commitment and teamwork to bring about change.
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