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Getting it Right for Looked After Children and Young People: Building a strong corporate family - Anna Fowlie


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Anna Fowlie, Head of Corporate Parenting, Care and Justice Division, Children, Young People and Social Care Directorate. Scottish Government,

Session 3 - Building Better Childhoods, Responding to Need. Chair: Professor Andrew Kendrick, Glasgow School of Social Work.

Getting It Right for Every Child: Childhood, Citizenship and Children's Services, Glasgow, 24-26 September 2008.

Published in: Self Improvement
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Getting it Right for Looked After Children and Young People: Building a strong corporate family - Anna Fowlie

  1. 1. Anna Fowlie Head of Corporate Parenting Care and Justice Division Children, Young People and Social Care Directorate 0131 244 7445 [email_address]
  2. 2. Building a stronger corporate family
  3. 3. What does it mean to be a parent? What is different for the corporate parent?
  4. 5. Corporate Parenting The formal and local partnerships needed between all local authority departments and services, and associated agencies, who are responsible for working together to meet the needs of looked after children and young people. (We can and Must Do Better, Scottish Executive, 2007)
  5. 6. Parenting <ul><li>Physical care </li></ul><ul><li>Affection </li></ul><ul><li>Positive Regard </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional security </li></ul><ul><li>Setting boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Allowing room to develop </li></ul><ul><li>Helping develop skills </li></ul><ul><li>Helping cognitive development </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitating social activity </li></ul><ul><li>(David Quinton, 2004) </li></ul>
  6. 7. Parenting <ul><li>Good parenting therefore involves a mixture of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tasks; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Behaviours; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The ability to handle relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Good corporate parenting is the same, but some of the tasks, behaviours and relationships are different. </li></ul>
  7. 8. Corporate Parenting <ul><li>Risk </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Stability </li></ul><ul><li>Belief </li></ul><ul><li>Basics </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Health and well-being </li></ul><ul><li>Preparing for independence </li></ul>
  8. 9. What do young people need from carers? Carers should care for you, perhaps even love you, treat you fairly, listen to you, do things with you, offer advice and, perhaps, although there is less agreement here, provide rules and control. At older ages, at least, they should relax the rules, negotiate and listen to the teenagers’ side of the story. These basic provisions would be supported by adequate material goods, a room of your own, holidays and activities and encouragement of your interests. (Sinclair, Baker et al, 2005)
  9. 10. Parenting <ul><li>Parenthood depends on personal, comprehensive and continuing commitment to children, reinforced by mutual emotional attachments between children and parents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commitment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attachment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unconditional love </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. Corporate Parenting <ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>How to be partisan on behalf of your child </li></ul><ul><li>How to offer unqualified support in times of need and uncertainty </li></ul><ul><li>Can you be a good parent if you’re not a real parent? </li></ul><ul><li>Choices </li></ul><ul><li>Fragmentation </li></ul><ul><li>Enduring support </li></ul>
  11. 12. Corporate Parenting <ul><li>Leaving Home </li></ul><ul><li>Average age 24 </li></ul><ul><li>Not usually forever the first time </li></ul><ul><li>Financial, practical and emotional support </li></ul><ul><li>Often into shared accommodation </li></ul><ul><li>Usually a choice related to further education, work or a relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Leaving Care </li></ul><ul><li>16 – 19 </li></ul><ul><li>Usually forever </li></ul><ul><li>Pathways planning and throughcare service </li></ul><ul><li>Often into sole tenancy </li></ul><ul><li>Usually no choice, no positive context </li></ul>
  12. 13. A Lifelong Commitment? <ul><li>The legacy of a “good” family </li></ul><ul><li>Enduring, though changing, relationship between parent and child </li></ul><ul><li>Organic process through accommodation </li></ul><ul><li>Building long-term relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Parenting </li></ul><ul><li>Health </li></ul><ul><li>Unlikely to be involved in criminal justice system </li></ul><ul><li>The legacy of being in care </li></ul><ul><li>Unlikely to have long term contact </li></ul><ul><li>Sustaining tenancies </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty making and sustaining relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of role models, so difficult to be a parent </li></ul><ul><li>Poor health </li></ul><ul><li>Likely to be in prison or offending </li></ul>