Corporate parents are councillors and local authority officers responsible for the children in care to them. They are responsible for providing standards of care that would be good enough for their own children.
A good corporate parent should regularly ask themselves "If this were my child, would it be good enough?"
In Wigan, we are very proud of our corporate parenting role and all of the children in our care.
Our Corporate Parenting Strategy
Wigan Council's Corporate Parenting Strategy sets out the vision and plans for fulfilling our key responsibilities and ambitions to all of our children in care as well as our care leavers.
The strategy links to the key priorities of the Deal 2030, which aims to give all children in Wigan and Leigh the best start in life and draws on the experiences of our looked after children and our care leavers.
The strategy demonstrates our commitment to hold ourselves and our partner agencies to account as corporate parents, and to ensure that the life chances of every child and young person in our care are the best they can be.
We have strong ambitions for all of our children and young people. We want looked after children to experience the same opportunities as all other children, to have their health and wellbeing taken into account, to enable their success in education and to ensure they are prepared for their future.
We want our children in care to be looked after as if each of them were our own.
Children in care
- Pre-school to 12 years old - We promote placement security and legal permanence and undertake direct work with children to enable them to have a voice and an understanding of their journey. We promote health, education and enrichment activities both in and outside of school, plan and support children in their transition to secondary school
- Age 12 years until leaving care - We equip and support young people through the transition to independence, offering support in seeking employment/training and accommodation. When a young person is sixteen we complete an assessment of needs that identifies strengths and needs to prepare young people to live independently
- Up to age of 25 who have or who are about to leave care - We look to improve their life chances in adulthood, building on the preparation for independence work, identifying personal support systems, suitable accommodation and financial arrangements. We aim to improve care leavers levels of education, employment and training to ensure they are equipped to participate socially and economically as responsible citizens.
We have taken several steps to develop the way that we support children in our care. This includes:
- Launching our new corporate parenting strategy
- Launching The Wordinary, a language guide for professionals working with young people
- Our Corporate Parenting Board includes young people, to understand their experiences and to inform services for the future
- Working with health, housing, police and other partners for a multi-agency response and joint understanding of our corporate parenting role
- Reviewing our pledge to children in care
- Holding corporate parenting workshops to remind everyone of their responsibilities and to understand the role of a corporate parent
- Encouraging individual pledges from officers and elected members to help improve outcomes for our children
- Providing training sessions for elected members about the role of a corporate parent.