West Berkshire Council

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Corporate Parenting

Acting as a corporate parent to all children in care

West Berkshire Council is a 'corporate parent' to all the children and young people who are looked after by foster families, in supported lodgings and in residential care. This means we share with the birth parents a responsibility to ensure all children are given the conditions and opportunities to develop and thrive.

Questions we must ask

As a corporate parent we share all the usual parental concerns for our children and young people. This means we must ask ourselves these questions:

"Is my child or children

- living in a stable placement that meets their needs?"

- making progress at school?"

- getting good health care?"

- given the chance to pursue hobbies and interests?"

- being prepared for independence?"

- offered adequate opportunities for education, training and employment?"

- able to access enough affordable accommodation to meet their housing needs?"

And, because we know all children have individual needs, we also need to ask: "Is this good enough for my child?"

The Corporate Parenting Panel

To help us ask and answer these questions, we have a Corporate Parenting Panel which helps us to review and scrutinise the services we provide to Looked After Children.

Who is on the Panel?

The panel consists of:

- Lead Member for Children and Family Services

- Shadow Member for Children and Family Services

- Foster Care Representative

- Health Representative

- Education Partner

- Director of Communities

- Head of Children and Family Services

- Children and Family Services Manager for Looked After Children

- Virtual Head Teacher

- Children and Family Services Officer

- Other officers and partners as necessary

Understanding the Corporate Parent role

The National Children's Bureau (NCB) has developed resources and leaflets to help elected members in their capacity as corporate parents. 

What does the Panel do?

Members of the panel may discuss and review, for example:

- changes in policy for Looked After Children

- how West Berkshire's profile of children in care compares to the national one

- recent performance data for services provided to West Berkshire's Looked After Children

- children and young people's reported experiences of their care

- special activities, such as an Adoption Activity Day

The panel will also hear specially prepared presentations by the Head of Children and Family Services and from children and young people themselves, through R:Vue, the Children in Care Council.