Our Cabinet members will be presented with the latest Annual Report of the Corporate Parenting Panel at their next meeting on Wednesday, 26 July.
Corporate Parenting refers to the partnerships between the council departments, services and associated agencies who are collectively responsible for meeting the needs of looked after children, young people and care leavers.
The report sets out an update on the Corporate Parenting arrangements in Barnsley, with progress and outcomes for Children in Care and Care Leavers for the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.
Drafted with the valuable help and input of children in care and care leavers including representatives from the Barnsley Care4Us Council, the report also reminds Members of key legislation and guidance, and highlights local performance and continued service improvement, setting out the priorities for the coming year.
It demonstrates the Corporate Parenting Panel’s continuing compliance with its responsibilities and the added value which it brings to the experience of children and young people both in and leaving care, particularly in helping them stay safe and healthy; improve their aspirations and prospects as well as enjoy enriching lives. This is in accordance with the council’s pledge to children in care and the Local Offer to young people leaving care in our borough.
Members will be informed that improving and enriching the lives of these groups of vulnerable young people is important for levelling-up opportunities in Barnsley, closing the gap in inequality, particularly in health and educational attainment as well as improving social mobility and life chances.
Increased investment was previously approved by Cabinet to improve and strengthen our children’s services.
The investment has underpinned the implementation of an ambitious development plan to improve quality of practice, service delivery and outcomes for vulnerable children in care and care leavers for whom the council is the corporate parent. A total of £3.5M was invested in 2022/23, with a further £6.8M investment planned for 2023/24, which includes additional resources in care leavers financial offer and advocacy support.
Cllr Trevor Cave, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services, said: “The annual report of the Corporate Parenting Panel and the Panel’s forward programme, provides Cabinet with an insight into the challenges faced by these vulnerable groups of young people.
"It also shows how the council, through its unwavering commitment, continues to invest resources in enabling looked after children and young people leaving care, making sure they are supported to experience inclusive, enriching lives.
"We care about young people, not just care for them.”