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Corporate Parenting Board puts Looked after children and Care leavers at the heart of future planning

  • 7 August 2020
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Walsall Council’s Corporate Parenting Board is actively working to review and reset the support available for looked after children, helping them to reach their potential.

The council has a responsibility towards children cared for and young people leaving care from age 0 to 25 years to make sure that children and young people are safeguarded from harm, that they have a safe place to live, enjoy education, training and employment with high aspirations for their futures, are healthy and are cared for in ways in which any good parent would for their own child.

The Board, which meets six times a year, is chaired by Councillor Wilson, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services and includes the Chairs of both the Education and Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee as well as five other Council Members and is supported by Director of Children’s Social Care.  

Councillor Wilson, Chair of Walsall Council’s Corporate Parenting Board said, “Although the board has been unable to meet for the last few months due to COVID-19 that doesn’t mean the work has stopped. Council4Kids (a forum for children in care council) have met virtually during the pandemic to continue to shape and influence the parenting and support that they receive.”

“Council officers have adapted swiftly and effectively to the required changes in the ways of working, making sure that support is provided seamlessly by increasing phone and video calls to maintain contact.”

“A recent paper shared by Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner sets out key actions that are needed to ensure that the interests of children are at the heart of planning for future lockdowns. We are embedding these principles in our ways of working and future planning.”

“Council tax relief for care leavers living outside the borough was recommended at the board on January 2020 and was agreed by the council in March 2020 providing an excellent example of how the work of the board can make a real difference.”

“A virtual meeting of the board has been arranged for 10 August, available live on YouTube and will provide an opportunity for views to be heard and to ensure that the needs of children in care and care leavers are met. It is important that that young people are involved and are able to influence decision making and therefore a Children’s Champion has been appointed and attends each meeting, with young people even having the opportunity to jointly chair.”

The important issues to be discussed at the meeting are:

  • the involvement of children and young people during the lockdown
  • how our services have responded to children in care and care leavers during the lockdown
  • the outcome of consultation about our pledges to children in care and care leavers
  • how we are going to review the Local Offer for care leavers

-Ends-

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