This summer, we supported Aava, Abba, Alana-Joy, Hamza, Riley and Shona to meet with Rob from the Department for Education to discuss which public bodies they think should become corporate parents and why...
Having a corporate parent feels institutional. It feels as though your existence is surrounded by professionals and not people.
What young people think about corporate parenting:
“The connotations of the words “corporate” and “parent” put together do not help at all with the negative feelings associated with having a corporate parent that we have already established. At the end of the day, they are not your parent and never will be.
A parent is the person who helps you set up your room for university, with a tear in their eye. A parent is the person who brings you soup and holds your hand when you are ill. A parent is someone who holds you when you are scared, and who tells you they are proud of you. As much as we want there to be, there will never be this same connection between a corporate parent and a young person in care. Why? Because the young person will always know that that person gets paid to do what they do. Furthermore, there are restrictions on what a corporate parent can do (funding, safeguarding, etc.).”
“I want to think of corporate parents as someone reliable and someplace we can go to and trust to make us feel supported as we aren’t as fortunate as people who have the “normal support”.
I want to be able to feel safe and secure growing up and if it means giving different organisations that duty of care I would.”
– A young person we work with (anonymous)
“The NHS should become a shared corporate parent, as they play a huge role in our lives, not just during our time in care, but our entire lives. They are the people who deal with our health, and ensure that we stay healthy with preventative measures if we feel there is an issue that needs support with, in relation to health and wellbeing.”
“This is a great injustice because we are setting up this nation’s children to fail from the very outset and throughout. Therefore, I contend the DWP and Department for Housing, Levelling Up and Communities also be corporate parents to help care leavers navigate such systemic flaws!
By getting the very basic rights, we are giving the care-experienced young people of this nation a fair chance at life, compared to that of their peers.”
After the DfE meeting, Rob emailed to say..
“I took away lots of useful information, but I think the most telling point for me was that when the young people were talking about what they wanted from their corporate parents. It’s got me thinking about how we can meld these two things together in a way that makes sense legislatively.”
Reflecting on corporate parenting at DfE One response
Elaine Butler says:
July 31, 2023 at 6:14 pm
Caring for young people in corporate parenting should be shared with those people and organisations who have the experience, knowledge and best interests of young people.
They must have an holistic approach and offer a wide range of inputs from organisations such as the NHS, youth workers, counsellors.