Corporate parenting: letter from Maureen Bateson MBE

What being a corporate parent means to me

Being a corporate parent to me is a responsibility I take very seriously. All the young people who come into are care also become our responsibility and I want for each and every one of them the same as I would expect for my own children.

Most important for me is they are placed with the right people who will care for them, listen to their worries and concerns, and ensure that they are provided with the best possible life and the opportunities we can provide. It’s also important we recognise all their achievements and provide praise whenever we can.

We know that many of these young people will have faced many difficult situations in their lives and it’s important that the right support and health provision is provided. However we need to ensure that our young people are brought up wherever possible to lead a normal life.

My job as a Corporate Parent is to make sure that I know about what is happening throughout the service, and bring in policies to make sure our children and young people have the opportunities to tell us about their views and concerns and have an opportunity to influence decisions about themselves.

It’s also important that we encourage every officer, member and partner to work in the best interests of our young people and to give them the opportunities to enrich their lives. It is also our responsibility that the best education, care and wellbeing are provided and that all Staff and Foster Carers or Placements meets the highest standards and ensure our young people come first and foremost at all times. Throughout their time in care we will try to ensure they live as stable life as possible and to ensure any decision on permanence is made in their best interests.

We also have a duty to ensure that we put in place preparations for our young people for leaving care. We will look to provide them with a suitable place to live, to promote job opportunities for them, or to encourage future education or training. We will also ensure good support advice and guidance will always be available.

I also feel that when something isn’t working right we take steps to ensure it’s corrected. I think it’s a privilege to be a Corporate Parent and to help shape and change, even in small ways, the lives of our children and young people and so we can be proud of them and also to care and support them if things go wrong, just as we would as any good parent.

Councillor Maureen Bateson MBE

Assistant Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education