If you work for or within any of those bodies or groups of bodies listed in the legislation as a corporate parent, it means you have duties towards all looked after children and care leavers in Scotland up to the age of 26.
Staff at all levels within corporate parents need to understand how corporate parenting applies to them. It is so important that corporate parenting is not viewed as something which only managers, or those providing direct services regularly to looked after children and care leavers, have responsibility for understanding.
Under section 58 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, you need to:
All corporate parents have a duty to prepare and publish a corporate parenting plan which outlines their approach to fulfilling their corporate parenting duties. Whilst developing this plan, they are required to consult with other corporate parents and parties as appropriate. More generally, corporate parents have a duty to collaborate with each other in safeguarding or promoting the wellbeing of looked after young people and care leavers.
Corporate parenting plans must be regularly reviewed and progress reported to the Scottish Ministers. Every three years, Scottish Ministers must report to parliament on how corporate parenting responsibilities have been exercised throughout Scotland.
The first three-year period ends on 31 March 2018, and it is likely that the Scottish Ministers will seek information from corporate parents when preparing the report.
To ensure that a plan is the best it can be, care experienced people should be heavily involved in the training of corporate parents, the design of the plan or strategy and ongoing reviews. At Who Cares? Scotland, we believe that corporate parenting is a real opportunity to transform the lives of looked after young people in Scotland through policy and good practice. However, we also believe that this must be inspired by an understanding of the care journey and directly reflect young people’s day to day lives.