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The Children's Panel - life changing

Corporate Parenting

Picture of a child painting

What is a corporate parent?

Corporate parents are organisations and individuals who have a legal responsibility for children and young people. CHS and the National Convener of CHS became corporate parents on 01 April 2015 under part 9 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. This means that we have to work with other corporate parents to meet the needs of looked-after and care experienced children and young people.

As an organisation, CHS does not routinely provide any frontline services directly to children and young people. This is what is known as an 'indirect service provider'.

What are our duties as corporate parents?

By law, corporate parents have special responsibilities they must carry out. We have six duties:

  • to be alert to matters which might adversely affect the wellbeing of looked after children and young people
  • to assess the needs of looked after children and young people for services and support we provide
  • to promote the interests of looked after children and young people
  • to provide opportunities for looked after children and young people to participate in activities designed to promote their wellbeing
  • to take appropriate action to ensure looked after children and young people access these opportunities and make use of our services and support
  • to take any other action appropriate to improve our functions to meet the needs of looked after children and young people

How are the National convener and CHS going to meet our corporate parenting duties?

For the first time we have embedded corporate parenting activities into each of our core business objectives. This will ensure that the ethos of corporate parenting informs everything that we do on a day to day basis, reflecting how integral it is to our activities.

We have identified seven key activities for 2017/18 which directly link to our corporate parenting duties. These are:

  • to continue involving care experienced young people in the design of our panel member recruitment process
  • to continue involving young people in the design and delivery of panel member pre-service training
  • to make sure that panel members are well trained in how to communicate with children and young people at hearings so they can speak with them during their hearing
  • to use the ‘Better Hearings’ research to help us make decisions, decide on policy and inform our new Corporate Plan for 2018-2021
  • to establish a Young People’s Board for the Children’s Hearings System together with SCRA and other partners
  • to improve the information available about the impact that panel member’s decisions have on wellbeing outcomes for children and young people
  • to support panel members to make the best possible decisions for children and young people and to involve children and young people in making these decisions

To make these activities easier to identify in our Business and Corporate Parenting Plan, we have highlighted them in Orange Heart.  

CHS and SCRA's shared corporate parenting vision

As part of our duty to work with other corporate parents to make things better for children and young people, we have worked with SCRA to develop a joint corporate parenting vision for the hearings system. This means that SCRA and CHS will work together to try and make these four things a reality for children and young people:

  • you are at the centre of the hearings system and are treated as an individual
  • the decisions that affect you are based on sound knowledge, clear evidence and with consideration of your views
  • your corporate parents will work together to make the system work better for you
  • we will keep asking ourselves if the way we do things is the best it can be

Want to find out more?

Visit 'mycorporateparents.co.uk' which is all about corporate parenting and has been written especially for children and young people. This new website is a joint initiative with the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration. The site provides children and young people with a more interactive version of both organisation’s corporate parenting commitments and activities.

If you want to read our full Business and Corporate Parenting Plan for 2017/18, you can view it by clicking on the link.