The Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Rocio Cifuentes and Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan MS visited Bridgend County Borough recently to support the official launch of Bridgend County Borough Council’s new Corporate Parenting Strategy.
With the philosophy of ‘nothing about you, without you’ in mind, the council’s Corporate Parenting Board worked with care experienced children, young people, and care leavers across the county borough to co-produce the document.
This new approach involved Bridgend Youth Voice Forum and the council’s Corporate Parenting Board, chaired by the Deputy Leader, working with multi-agency professionals from different council departments, partner agencies and county borough councillors to develop the strategy which focuses on addressing the needs, views and wants of our care experienced children and young people to enable them to live happy and fulfilling lives.
Underpinning the strategy is a list of promises made by over forty professionals, carers and councillors representing multiple support services, stating their own personal commitment to children and young people.
The launch event itself was facilitated by eight representatives of Bridgend Youth Voice Forum with professionals and politicians forming the audience.
Rocio Cifuentes, Children’s Commissioner for Wales, who attended the launch, said:
“It was fantastic to see care-experienced young people truly taking the lead in this event, and that their views are being properly taken into account. I look forward to hearing more about the opportunities young people will have to keep sharing their views as part of this important work, and about how the strategy will continue to deliver on its commitments to young people in a way that supports them to experience their rights.”
Julie Morgan, MS Deputy Minister for Social Services, who was also present at the event, said: “The Welsh Government is developing a new way of delivering children’s services in Wales, with the emphasis on keeping children and young people close to home; to maintain contact with their family and community.
“Our Corporate Parenting Charter shares the same principles and aligns closely with this strategy, which is a really great example of Corporate Parenting in practice. The launch of this strategy today, demonstrates that corporate parenting is on the top of the agenda for Bridgend County Borough Council and Welsh Government. I’d like to congratulate all the young people who have been involved in producing this important piece of work.”
Deputy Leader, Councillor Jane Gebbie said: “Care experienced children, young people and care leavers have the right to be safe, healthy, to learn, have a wide range of opportunities and experiences offered to them just like any other child or young person.
“In Bridgend County Borough, we are committed to working collaboratively with all organisations to fulfil our corporate parenting responsibilities and support our children and young people to feel respected, valued, cared for, and able to reach their full potential in whatever they choose to do.
“Because our strategy has been co-produced with Bridgend Youth Voice Forum, it has ensured that children and young people have been fully involved in setting our priorities and have had their say on what we need to focus on improving.
“I am really pleased that corporate parenting is a priority for so many statutory and non-statutory partners in the county borough. As a council, we may be the lead agency for corporate parenting strategy in Bridgend, but we are only one partner who can positively impact on our children’s lives.
“All our partners are committed to taking ownership of the strategy and are ensuring that the priorities in the strategy are reflected in their individual organisational plans.”
To view the new strategy, please visit the council’s website.