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Putting corporate parenting into practice project Di Hart & Alison Williams.

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2 Putting corporate parenting into practice project Di Hart & Alison Williams

3 DfE funded project Aim = To support local authorities in their corporate parenting role Emphasis on practical support –Regional events for those with a lead role in corporate parenting –Events with corporate parents and children in care councils –Tailored support for authorities having difficulties –Free web-based resources from May 2013 NB: we define corporate parents as those with ultimate responsibility i.e. creating the right framework for staff/ carers to look after children well But different levels of responsibility according to role

4 Levels of responsibility Universal - all councillors should –Understand the legal/ policy framework –Know the profile of local children – and how well they are doing –Consider the needs of looked after children in all decisions Targeted – councillors with relevant role e.g. member of corporate parenting group or scrutiny committee should –Consider the effectiveness of local arrangements –Consider range of evidence in order to identify what needs to change Specialist – councillors with leadership role should –Constantly drive improvements to the service –Make sure that the needs of looked after children are incorporated in all council/ partner strategies –Keep up to date with research findings and new initiatives

5 Children repeatedly tell us.. They want to be cared about, not just cared for –Were not treated like children, were a case Differences from other children were seen as –Cost perceived as the biggest factor in decisions –Having care plans, meetings and case files –Bureaucratic processes for permission –Being treated differently at school –Leaving care early to live on your own –Moving from place to place –Multiple professionals and disrupted relationships (from: Having Corporate Parents - Childrens Rights Director)

6 What Ofsted found … In LAs where services were effective, they found Articulation of the leadership, ambition and objectives for looked after children In these authorities the corporate parenting board: –demonstrated a strong cross-party commitment to looked after children, championing their rights, having high aspirations for them and monitoring their progress –planned for and prioritised the needs of looked after children, resulting in a greater focus on improving outcomes –actively engaged with their young people

7 A focus on outcomes Identify needs – and priorities Decide what outcomes you want to achieve Commission services to achieve those outcomes Review to see if they have been effective Ongoing process … led by elected members needsoutcomesservicesreview

8 Inspection from April 2013 Four year cycle by Ofsted and CQC Bringing together all looked after services, adoption and fostering Less focus on data, more on quality of care and childs journey Explicit focus on leadership and governance –Role of lead member and chief executive –How corporate parents oversee specific aspects e.g. children missing from care, out of authority placements, sufficiency, meaningful relationships –Corporate parenting arrangements, including response to NHS reforms, commissioning

9 Leadership & Governance Corporate parenting group/ mechanism Decision Making Systems & structures within LA Systems & structures within partner agencies Plans, strategies, policies and protocols CYPP Commissioning strategy Policies, plans & protocols of all partners Care Pledge Management information Qualitative Quantitative Scrutiny Internal Inspection Resources Staffing Skills Placements Services Model of effective corporate parenting Childrens comments heard & taken into account Childrens views & wishes are heard concerning staff, their placements & services Children say what they think of quality of services Children in Care Council in place for consulting children Children receive feedback including explanations of decisions made

10 What we found... Greater awareness of corporate parenting role... but difficulty in establishing coherent governance arrangements Challenges in getting the right information – and knowing what sense to make of it Lack of confidence in knowing how/ when to challenge officers – and issues of trust Problems in knowing how to work with children and young people Gaps in multi-agency involvement and ownership

11 Governance arrangements Most councils have some sort of body responsible for corporate parenting – but different models TypeProsCons Formal council committee Clear status and decision making powers Tends to note not act Poor engagement by stakeholders Forum or boardCan be flexible and informal Unclear status and powers Who should be on it? Scrutiny committee Good at challengeThematic rather than holistic Not equipped to lead MALAPInvolves partner agencies Excludes elected members Risk of duplication

12 The so what test Corporate parenting boards get information but not always meaningful –Statistics with no context, such as comparison with past performance/ other councils/ the local population –Reports that only include the good news... or offer no analysis/ explanation –All statistics and nothing about quality Need to take control and ask for helpful information Look at multiple sources of information –Performance data –Childrens views – and frontline staff/carers –Supporting data e.g. analysis of complaints, IRO report

13 Working with children and young people Children and young people should have a voice in: –All decisions that affect them as individuals –The service as a whole Children in care councils work best if they have –Good links with DCS and elected members –Terms of reference (A National Voice report) Corporate parents must –Set up effective working relationship with CiCC e.g. representation on corporate parenting board –Make sure other children are also heard –Develop a Pledge that goes beyond rhetoric

14 Free resources From May 2013, free resources on –Understanding corporate parenting responsibilities –A model of effective corporate parenting –How to work effectively with children and young people –Tools for evaluating the effectiveness of local corporate parenting arrangements –Signposts to further sources of information Handbooks for individual elected members


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