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A large mural created by young people of York in care.

A professional’s guide to corporate parenting

When a child comes into care, the council becomes their corporate parent.

A corporate parent is any professional who is directly involved in the care and safeguarding of a child or young person who is in the care of the local authority. Corporate parents include:

  • elected council members
  • housing officers
  • teachers
  • support workers
  • social workers

10 key things that all corporate parents should do

This is what young people think that everyone who is their corporate parent should do.

  1. Make sure that you know what promises City of York Council has made to us and that you know what your responsibilities are as a corporate parent.
  2. Do all you can to make sure that we are well looked after wherever we live.
  3. Get to know us and understand our situations. Know the kind of challenges that we face whether we are looked after at home or away from home, and as care leavers. Remember it will be different for each of us.
  4. Always treat us with respect.
  5. Speak to us.
  6. Listen to us.
  7. Advocate for us.
  8. Support us in everything we do and celebrate our successes.
  9. Help us to move on from care and to become successful and independent adults. Do what you can to provide employment for us as a family friendly firm.
  10. Respect our confidentiality. Think carefully about how you share information and what information you share, and if possible, ask for our consent.

These key things are there to make sure the council and its partners are accountable for the support they should be providing children and young people in their care.

Every professional should be aware of their responsibilities as a corporate parent and make sure they are doing all they can to be as involved with the young people they support.

Young people need to be listened to and their views taken into account when decisions are being made.

Young people in care have often referred to the quote ‘treat me like you would your own child’. Corporate parents should uphold this ethos and encourage children and young people in care to thrive and achieve their best, exactly like they would support their own child.