Agenda item

Cabinet Committee - Corporate Parenting Terms of Reference and Membership Review


The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing submitted a report in respect of the above matter.


The Head of Children’s Social Care advised that, The Programme for Government, Taking Wales Forward, committed to “examine ways of ensuring looked after children enjoy the same life chances as other children and if necessary reform the way they are looked after”. This is reinforced by the national strategy Prosperity for All, with social care as 1 of the 5 priority areas, with actions to pursue and achieve as were outlined in paragraph 3.1 of the report.


She advised that, Welsh Government were now embarking on an extensive programme of work and engagement activity to take forward a new ‘refreshed’ approach to corporate parenting. The new approach is about doing things differently and to organisations’ best abilities including a new Voluntary Charter referred to in paragraph 4.2 of the report.


The programme of work includes engagement with a wide cohort of care experienced children to identify what corporate parenting means to them and their expectations from the services they routinely engage with. Working with this cohort, Welsh Government will look to co-produce a Voluntary Charter that organisations can sign up to setting out their commitment and unique offer to care experienced children. This Voluntary Charter will enable all stakeholders, across the public and private sector and the devolved and non-devolved spheres, to sign up to a common statement of improved support and action when working with care experienced children. It is anticipated the Charter will allow signatories to describe how they engage with care experienced children and what they propose to do differently or offer in addition to care experienced children in the future.


The Head of Children’s Social Care continued by stating that, to build on the agreements as set out in the Voluntary Charter, they will also look to use existing legislative powers to strengthen statutory guidance, clarifying roles and responsibilities and extending duties across the public sector. This would be achieved by adopting the principles outlined in paragraph 4.3 of the report.


The membership of the Council’s existing Cabinet Committee - Corporate Parenting comprises of 15 Elected Members (6 of whom are Cabinet Members and have voting rights), Corporate Management Board (CMB) and relevant Heads of Service. The current Terms of Reference of the Committee, were shown in paragraph 4.4 of the report.


At the last meeting of the Cabinet Committee Corporate Parenting, Members discussed how it could be strengthened and the value of extending membership to key partner agencies. Importantly the Committee were also keen to ensure that the voice of the looked after child (or care experienced child) was heard.


The Cabinet Member – Social Services and Early Help welcomed the extended role of partners to assist in the above manner as they were also corporate parents, as well as hearing more the voices of the likes of Young Carers.


RESOLVED:                          That Cabinet:


(1)              (1)  Noted the local implications of the Welsh Government work programme and approve the commencement of a review of the existing Cabinet Committee - Corporate Parenting Terms of Reference and membership.

      (2)  Approved the establishment of a Working Group to conduct the review to be led by the Head of Children’s Social Care and to include corporate colleagues and representation from key external partners and young people who are or have been looked after by the Authority. 

   (3) Noted that the findings of the Working Group and any proposed amendments to the Terms of Reference and membership of the Cabinet Committee – Corporate Parenting will be reported back to Cabinet.


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