Coun Jane Scullion: This is the hidden side of a council’s work that people just don’t see
Coun Jane Scullion, leader Calderdale Council writes: As councillors, whichever party we represent, we all share the vital responsibility of acting as good parents towards the children in the council’s care.
We (and council’s staff as well) are what are called ‘corporate parents’.
Our task is to give these children and young people, who for whatever reason are unable to live with their biological parents or relatives, the very best possible start in life.
We want them to flourish, to be happy, to be safe and to do their best at school.
And we want them to find their way into grown-up life as confident, mature adults with fulfilling jobs and relationships, just like our own children.
People are often surprised when I tell them that 70 per cent of the council’s budget is required to meet our legal children’s and adult social care responsibilities.
This is the hidden side of a council’s work that people just don’t see.
Everyone knows that we look after parks, pools, and schools, empty the litter bins and grit the roads but forget that we spend most of the money caring for the most vulnerable.
We make no apologies for that because the responsibilities to our children and young people are a key part of what a council does, on behalf of us all.
For in a decent, caring society we want the best for every young person as they grow up.
We are grateful to our foster and adoptive parents, a big thank you to them all!
Since I first became a councillor I’ve enjoyed visiting our children’s homes and have also been there for some of the set-piece occasions held regularly to celebrate our children’s successes and to ensure they have a proper send-off when they reach 18 and begin to leave care.
For example, just like other parents we try to make sure that they get outfits for job interviews, college or apprenticeships to send them on to the next stage of their lives.
I’m proud to be a corporate parent.