Corporate Parenting is everyone’s responsibility.
This webpage is here to help you find out more about what corporate parenting means for you and Aberdeenshire’s looked after children and care leavers.
Children’s Rights Service
The Children’s Rights officers, Kate Ramsden and Laura Stewart are here to help children and young people understand their rights when being looked after or living away from home. It is our job to make sure that children know their rights, and are listened to and treated fairly.
The service is independent from social workers, teachers, residential care staff, foster carers, educational psychologists and all other adults concerned with children’s care.
We can give information, advice and help over the phone, or by writing to children and young people, or by arranging a visit in a place that is suitable.
For more information on what we do and how to contact us visit us on the Aberdeenshire council website
When children and young people become looked after, the local authority becomes their ‘Corporate Parent.’ The term recognises that the local authority must have the same interest in the progress and attainments of looked after children, in the same way as a reasonable parent would have for their own children. We support children and young people in helping them put forward their views about what is good about services for them and what needs to be changed.
Our work with the YPOC Group
We also work with the YPOC Group and meet monthly to campaign to make things better for Looked After Children. Please look at the YPOC Group page so you can see what we have been working on and the campaigns we have been part of. These include Corporate Parenting, Guide to Meetings and Tell it Like It Is events.
The Young People’s Organising and Campaigning Group’s latest campaign looks at coming into care and moving placements and how the adults that support them can get it right
- The Scottish Child Law Centre: Dedicated legal advice for Young People Freecall Under 21s (landlines) 0800 328 8970 (mobiles) 0300 3301421 website: sclc.org.uk
- SCCYP: Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People: works to promote and protect the rights of children.www.sccyp.org.uk Young People’s Freephone: 0800 019 1179
- Childline: Freephone 0800 1111
- Who Cares? Scotland: Voluntary organisaiton working with and for children and young people in care. 07712 869576, Young People’s worker
Young Persons Organising & Campaigning (YPOC) Group
The Young People’s Organising and Campaigning (YPOC) Group is a group of young people – aged 14 and over – who are, or have been, looked after away from home. The group gives young people the opportunity to share their views and experiences of being looked after so we, and our partner agencies, can improve our services. The group also looks for ways to help more young people have a voice, campaigning and highlighting the issues that affect young people who are looked after away from home.
What is Corporate Parenting?
This is what we think that corporate parenting means:
“When Aberdeenshire Council and partner agencies like the NHS, and all the people who work there, act as our parents and take responsibility for doing everything that a good parent should do for looked after children and care leavers” (from We are the Bairns Guide, by the YPOC group)”
10 key things that all corporate parents should do
- This is what we think that everyone who is our corporate parent should do.
- Make sure that you know what promises Aberdeenshire Council has made to us and that you know what your responsibilities are as a corporate parent.
- Do all you can to make sure that we are well looked after wherever we live. 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.
- Always treat us with respect.
- Speak to us. Listen to us. Advocate for us.
- Support us in everything we do and celebrate our successes. 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. Respect our confidentiality.
- Think carefully about how you share information and what information you share, and if possible ask for our consent. (YPOC Group, ‘We are the Bairns’ guide, 2014)
For more information and videos visit the YPOC pages on Aberdeenshire Council website
The YPOC Group’s most recent campaign builds from “We are the Bairns” and aims to improve the experience of looked after children in school. It is aimed at corporate parents in education and schools management. Called, “Don’t Judge – We’re no different from you” there is a Guide for teaching and support staff in schools and a DVD for use in staff training and with 1st – 3rd year pupils in PSE.
The YPOC Group said, “School is important for looked after children and young people. If we can do well in school we can do well in life. In “We are the Bairns” we said that, ‘teachers and support staff have a very important role in helping looked after children make the most of their education. We realised that it’s important for teachers and support staff to know the challenges we might be facing and how that will affect our ability to learn. We also thought that it was important for other pupils to understand what it’s like to be in care and that most of the time, we are not in care because we have done something bad.”Young Persons Organising & Campaigning (YPOC) Group
Anne and Anouk are the Champions
The YPOC Group have appointed two Children’s Champions for looked after children and care leavers. They are Councillor Anne Robertson and Councillor Anouk Kloppert.
The Champions have a particular responsibility for promoting corporate parenting across the council; for having an overview of how the council is meeting its corporate parenting responsibilities; and to meet with young people and the YPOC group to hear about the successes and challenges for looked after children and care leavers.
Councillor Alison Evison served as Champion up until this year. She has moved on and the YPOC Group would like to thank her for all the work she has done in this role. The YPOC Group appointed Councillor Kloppert to be a Champion in early 2019.
The YPOC Group’s Sarah, who was involved in the interviews for the new Champion said, “We really liked Anouk. She showed a real commitment to working with us to make sure she can do her best for looked after children and care leavers and make sure that everyone who is our corporate parent does the same.”
The young interviewers went through interview skills training to give them the skills they need to interview for these important posts.
Anne said, “I am delighted to have been appointed to the role of Children’s Champion (North). I am looking forward to working with our looked after children and young people to develop plans which will create the best possible environment, with the appropriate support to allow each young person to thrive and do the very best that they can.
When appointed, Anne said, “I am delighted to have been appointed to the role of Children’s Champion (North). I am looking forward to working with our looked after children and young people to develop plans which will create the best possible environment, with the appropriate support to allow each young person to thrive and do the very best that they can.
“As a parent of 4, now adult, children and a grandmother, I believe that the principles, values and support which I shared with and gave to my family apply equally to the children and young people in our care.
“It is in everyone’s interest to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of our looked after children and young people and I will be working hard on your behalf to communicate with and influence the decision makers in organisations in the local area.”
Anouk added that in being a Champion she believes she can do more to support Looked After Children and to be there for them.
She said, “Care experienced children and young people all have a right to feel cared for and loved, to thrive and have the best start in life despite difficult circumstances.”
Anouk pledged to meet with the YPOC Group to find out which things are going right, but very much which things are going wrong.
She added, “My group of Partnership councillors would be very keen to support me in being there for you and for you to be heard by all.”
Please feel free to contact Anne or Anouk (still the A Team) if you think there are ways in which Aberdeenshire Council could do things better for you. You can phone or text Anne on 0782 446 1997.
You can email Councillor Anne Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org
and Councillor Anouk Kloppert at email@example.com
Throughcare / Aftercare Services
The Throughcare /Aftercare Team covers the whole of Aberdeenshire. It comprises
1 Team Manager, 2 part time Senior Practitioners, both of whom are social workers, 4 full time social workers,3 part time social workers, 3 support workers, an Accommodation Officer, an Employment, Education and Training officer as well as a part time Local Area Coordinator (accommodation)
Services offered include the provision of support and information regarding developing independent living skills, housing, education, training and employment, financial advice, the provision of emotional support and where necessary referral to agencies who are able to provide other appropriate services, dependent on the young person’s need.
The team’s overall aim is to assist young people who are, or have been, Looked After, to identify plans for moving towards living independently and to provide the support they need in order to bring about this transition successfully as they move towards young adulthood.
For more information visit the Throughcare / Aftercare section on the Aberdeenshire Council website.
Aberdeenshire’s Family Placement Service
Aberdeenshire’s Family Placement Service comprises an adoption team, a kinship care team and 2 fostering teams. These teams recruit, assess and support people who adopt, foster or care for the children of a relative. The teams also provide learning opportunities for their adopters, foster carers or kinship carers.
The teams within the Family Placement Service are committed to working in the best interests of Aberdeenshire’s children and in providing effective integrated services through improved planning and service delivery based on identified assessment of need.
The Family Placement Service complies with the National Care Standards for Adoption Agencies and the National Care Standards for Foster Care and Family Placement Services.
For more information follow the below links to the relevant areas of Aberdeenshire’s Corporate website
Our Pledges as Corporate Parents
In 2017, Corporate Parenting Leads across Aberdeenshire began meeting directly with Care Experienced young people in a new way to renew Aberdeenshire’s vision and commitment to ensuring that Care Experienced young people remain at the heart of planning and improvement. These twilight sessions ensure that our Care Experienced Young People have a voice and that voice is heard by partners who can make difference at both a service and strategic level in their organisation. Partners are challenged through listening and responding to stories of lived experience and demonstrate their commitment by making pledges about what they can do differently to ensure their organisation/service responds to the needs of our care experienced young people.
Current pledges include:
“I pledge to be available, accessible and approachable to the young folk and keep my fellow Councillors informed and involved.”Cllr Anouk Kloppert & Looked After Children Champion
“To work to eliminate the attainment gap between Care Experienced & non- Care Experienced students at NESCoL”Robin McGregor, NESCOL
“To Continue to raise the profile of our family firm and create interesting work experience and opportunities.”Jacqueline Dinnes, SDO, Our Family Firm
“To ensure NHS Grampian employees know what Corporate Parenting is and what being Looked After or Care Experienced means.”Linda Gray, LAC Nurse
“I pledge to do all that I and my school can to prevent changes of school unless this is what the young person wants.”Dawn Lynch, Depute Head Teacher
“I will raise awareness about the work within North East division of Police Scotland about Police Officers’ responsibilities and the need to listen to and engageSheila McDermott, Police Scotland
For more information, please contact Leigh Jolly (Leigh.Jolly@aberdeenshire.gov.uk) or on 01467 628308 or ask your carer or social worker to do this for you.
Our Family Firm
‘Our Family Firm’ is part of the wider Corporate Parenting approach which aims to support young people as they move into adulthood.
Guided by the principles within ‘Our Family Firm’ published by the Scottish Government in January 2011 ‘Our Family Firm’ compliments and reinforces Corporate Parenting, providing a working framework for Community Planning Partners and Employers. The expectation is that all partners are involved in planning and delivering opportunities for Looked After Children, Young People and Care Leavers to ensure a positive 16 years plus experience.
In Aberdeenshire ‘Our Family Firm’ aims to deliver the best service and opportunities possible for Looked After Children, Young People and Care Leavers.
As part of an ongoing Action Plan ‘Our Family Firm’ Champions have produced a set of brochures which clearly outline the service and support available.
If you have any queries about ‘Our Family Firm’ or would like to make a referral please email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Brochures / Forms