The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, came into effect on the 1st of April 2015. Part 9 relates to Corporate Parenting.
The act names 24 public bodies and groups of bodies as Corporate Parents.
The Statutory Guidance on Corporate Parenting defines it as:
“An organisation’s performance of actions necessary to uphold the rights and safeguard the wellbeing of a looked after child or care leaver, and through which physical, emotional, spiritual, social and educational development is promoted.” (Scottish Government, 2015)
Under the act, these Corporate Parents have duties to deliver on to care experienced people. Overall, they have a responsibility to promote the wellbeing of Care Experienced people. To do so they must understand the lives of Scotland’s looked after young people and care leavers and respond to their needs as any parent should.
Originating in the late 1990s, the concept of Corporate Parenting has actively informed Scottish Government policy since its 2007 report, ‘Looked After Children and Young People: We Can and Must Do Better’.
At Who Cares? Scotland, we support Care Experienced young people to share what they feel and to understand what is happening in their lives. We do this through listening to what they say and then in communicating and connecting with them meaningfully. We also enable them to connect with their peers and their Corporate Parents. This helps Corporate Parents understand more about the care journeys of Care Experienced young people and the significance of their Corporate Parenting duties to them. The Care Experienced voice shapes everything we do, from policy responses to campaigns and face-to-face training sessions. Our aim is to engage all key professionals and decision makers in improving outcomes for and the lives of care experienced children and young people.
Section 96 of the 2014 Act lists eight basic requirements of children and young people which help them to develop and reach their full potential. These requirements lie at the heart of ‘Getting It Right For Every Child’ (GIRFEC), the Scottish Government’s national approach to improving outcomes for children and young people. These requirements dictate that a child should be: