Young people leaving care in Clackmannanshire are now guaranteed a tenancy as part of a raft of measures to ensure our children and young people have the best possible start in life.
Clackmannanshire is the first Council in Scotland to make this commitment. It was announced at an event in Alloa this week when Ellen Forson, the Council Leader, and senior leaders from a range of local organisations affirmed their commitment to being good corporate parents for care experienced children and young people.
Corporate Parenting equates in many ways to being a birth parent. Key organisations are responsible for making sure that looked after children and young people and care leavers receive the support that they need. The Council is committed to making sure that no young people leaving care take the homelessness route to access accommodation.
Everyone attending the event was encouraged to ‘pledge’ their commitment to care experienced young people.
Council Leader Ellen Forson, who is chair of the Clackmannanshire Corporate Parenting Group promised “to take actions that will improve the lives of care experienced children and young people.”
She said: “I am proud that Clackmannanshire Council is the first council in Scotland to guarantee a tenancy for our care leavers. The promises we have made demonstrate our commitment to being good corporate parents, ensuring good outcomes for all the young people in Clackmannanshire. I’m proud to chair of the Clackmannanshire Corporate Parenting Group and will be doing everything I can to ensure our responsibilities are met.
Morag Cantwell, Advocacy and Participation Worker with Who Cares? Scotland, said: “This is a huge commitment by Clackmannanshire Council. They are leading the way and we will be promoting this as an example of best practice. Hopefully other local authorities will follow. It will not be an easy task, but then, nothing worthwhile is ever easy. The voices of the care experienced young people have been heard and have been acted upon. By working together we can make a positive difference to the care journeys of our children and young people.”
Other representatives took responsibility for a range of commitments and pledges including:
The Council’s revised Corporate Parenting Plan will come before the October meeting of the Council. It will set out how we are working to make sure that all of Clackmannanshire’s children and young people:
The rate of looked after children Clackmannanshire is above the Scottish average. At the end of June, 2018, the number of children and young people looked after by Clackmannanshire Council was 219.