A recent training event helped put in sharp focus the role we all play as employees of a local authority – and underlined some of the most important aspects of the work Aberdeen City Council does day in and day out.
I came away with some very powerful and positive messages from the Corporate Parenting session I attended.
The concept is evolving, but essentially covers our duty as an organisation to work together with partners to meet the needs of looked after children, young people and care leavers.
As a Council our aspirations for those young people should be no different from those as any good parent. We embrace the responsibility and make the needs of the individuals a priority – and every single member of staff should be aware of that duty of care and see it as an opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of young people.
As part of the training, Laura Beveridge’s brilliant TEDx Talk was used – I’d urge everyone to take 10 minutes out of what I know are busy days to watch this. It’s emotive, incredibly honest and thought provoking.
Laura describes herself as one of the lucky ones, having come through care and built a successful career and life.
Some of the statistics she uses are eye opening. Care experienced people are more likely to go to prison than university, 50% leave care with a mental health issue and care experienced people are 20 times more likely to die before the age of 25.
The questioned posed in the presentation is: Can you imagine if those facts and figures related to your child?
To take that further on a very basic level, can you imagine if your child, grandchild, niece or nephew didn’t receive a card or gift on their birthday? Imagine if they didn’t get the chance to play games or do all the things so many young people would take for granted.
We wouldn’t want that for the children in our lives and nor would we want that for the looked after children, young people and care leavers in our role as Corporate Parents.
I came away from last week’s session with thoughts on how we as a Council can be better Corporate Parents and I’d love to hear your views on that. The Ideas Hub is there as a platform to share suggestions and I’m sure it is a topic that would spark lively debate and discussion.
What could be done in your area of the Council to make a difference?
Great strides are already being made and we are so fortunate to have colleagues with the passion and expertise required to drive forward with improvements. I’m appreciative of the work already done and the plans for the future.
Parents strive to do better every day – and as Corporate Parents we are no different.