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Agenda item

Corporate Parenting Panel Annual Update - Report of Chair of the Corporate Parenting Panel


The Chairman of the Corporate Parenting Panel presented the first Corporate Parenting Panel update which had come about as a result of changes to the constitution and the role and functions of the panel (for copy see file of Minutes).


Councillor P Brookes informed the Council that the new annual report was easy and interesting to read and understand. The changes to the panel arrangements had been very successful, with new terms of reference, new links with the Children and Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee and a focus on fulfilling the promises made by the panel.


Corporate parenting remained a huge challenge for the Council and its partners with 822 looked after children across the County, an increase from the previous year. This impacted on budgets and childcare services. Councillor Brookes paid tribute to those who contributed to the day to day assistance for looked after children and explained that the service provided could not be achieved without them.


Councillor O Gunn said that the report, written by the Children in Care Council with support from young people was an excellent example of what children and young people could do. It had been produced with children and young people in mind, where the real focus was on what children and young people have told us and what the panel had agreed.  As a result, care leavers no longer paid council tax and the amount of apprenticeships that the Council offered had increased.


Councillor Gunn echoed the praise afforded by Councillor Brookes regarding foster carers and for those who adopted children. Councillor Gunn said they were amazing people and were the reason why so many children smiled, slept soundly, attended school and had a willingness to learn.  Councillor Gunn explained that it would be remiss of her not to mention the role of elected members who served on fostering and adoption panels.


Councillor E Scott informed the Council that it was her second year of serving on the Corporate Parenting Panel which had been a very positive and rewarding experience.  Councillor Scott explained that the panel were able to contribute meaningful input into service development and that officers were open and honest. It was an example of good practice across the authority and the work carried out was absolutely fabulous.

Supporting documents:


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714