Parenting Promise background
South Ayrshire first developed a Corporate Parenting Strategy in 2009 which was refreshed for 2013-15. Then, from 2015, corporate parenting was considered in a Strategy for Looked After Children that linked to South Ayrshire's Integrated Children's Services Plan.
Corporate parenting is given the utmost importance in South Ayrshire. A focus on corporate parenting and supporting care experienced young people is given strategic priority across our key plans and strategies, for example:
- A strategic priority of the Children's Services Plan 2020-2023 is to 'Love and Support our Care Experienced Young People and Young Carers';
- The Council Plan 2018-2022 also identifies working 'closely with partners to support looked after children and young people and young carers to reach their potential' as a priority; and
- South Ayrshire's Local Outcomes Improvement Plan identifies 'improving outcomes for care experienced children and care leavers' as a key priority of the Community Planning Partnership.
Corporate Parenting represents the principles and duties on which improvements can be made for children in care. The term refers to an organisation's performance in taking actions necessary to uphold the rights and secure the wellbeing of a child in care or care leaver, and through which physical, emotional, spiritual, social and educational development is promoted, from infancy through to adulthood. It is a role which should complement and support the actions of parents, families and carers, working with key adults to deliver positive change for vulnerable children.
With the publication of the Independent Care Review findings and the incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into domestic law, it is a particularly relevant time to refresh the Corporate Parenting Plan with both 'The Promise' and the UNCRC underpinning the new Plan. This follows the publication of the IJB Strategic Plan, allowing for alignment to the HSCP's overall strategic objectives.
Implementing the Promise in South Ayrshire
The Change Programme ONE follows on from Plan 21-24, which mapped and sequenced the 80+ calls to action in the Independent Care Review's conclusions and identified the five priority actions for the next three years.
Change Programme ONE outlines what is happening now, what is happening next and what needs to happen. It also assesses whether what is happening is good and fast enough to #KeepThePromise. The Change Programme is live and dynamic and will be updated so it is always in the best shape to drive Scotland forward to #KeepThePromise.
Within South Ayrshire, we have our own local improvement actions based on the following:
1. South Ayrshires workforce and commissioned services will have a comprehensive understanding of the promise including how to embed the promise values in their approach
2. Services and provision will be designed on the basis of need and with clear data, rather than on an acceptance of how the system has always operated
3. Decisions made across South Ayrshire are underpinned by Children's rightsand there will be well communicated and understood guidance in place that upholds children's rights and reflects equal protection legislation
4. Trauma informed and nurture approaches are standard and widespread practice across South Ayrshire
5. South Ayrshire recognises that 'language creates realities' those with care experience must hold and own the narrative of their own lives
6. 10 principles of intensive family support are embedded into the practice (planning, commissioning and delivery) across all of South Ayrshire's directorates and commissioned services
7. There must be significant, ongoing and persistent commitment to ending poverty and mitigating its impacts for South Ayrshires children, families and communities.
8. South Ayrshire must support the workforce to contribute to a broader understanding of risk. South Ayrshire must understand, through its people and structures, the risk of children not having loving supportive relationships and regular childhood and teenage experiences.
9. A framework of support will be in place to ensure people involved in the care of care experienced children and young people feel valued, encouraged and have supportive relationships for reflection with high quality supervision and environmental conditions.
10. Care experienced children and young people will receive all they need to thrive at school. There will be no barriers to their engagement with education and schools will know and cherish their care experienced pupils.