Corporate Parenting is the term used to recognise the collective responsibility of local authorities actively to promote the life-chances of children in care and care leavers "as if they were my child" and provide them with the best possible care and protection.
Effective corporate parenting needs a commitment from all council employees and elected members to demonstrate that 'looked after' children should be cared about, not just cared for.
The role of Suffolk County Council
Children and young people are in care either by a Court Order or with the agreement of the child’s parent or guardian. All these children are ‘looked after’ by the local authority but levels of responsibility for them differ.
For those with a Court Order the council has, or shares, parental responsibility, while for those in care at the request of their parent the authority provides care and accommodation but does not have parental responsibility.
Suffolk has approximately 700 looked after children aged 0-17 in their care at any one time.
Suffolk also has a responsibility for approximately 360 young adults aged 18 to 21 years, or 24 if they are in higher education who were in the care of the local authority and are entitled to support services to enable them to make a successful transition to adulthood.
Corporate parenting strategy
The Suffolk County Council corporate parenting strategy (PDF, 1.6 MB) sets out the key corporate parenting objectives for improving the lives of our looked after children and care leavers.
The 7 priorities for 2014-2016 are intended to identify actions that will improve children's well-being and progression, and to address the sufficiency of placements to ensure children and young people are well cared for.
These priorities have been informed by children and young people's views and in consultation with our partners.