What is a Corporate Parent?

A Corporate Parent is one of the following individuals or bodies which are named in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. 

Under this legislation, Corporate Parents have specific duties and responsibilities towards Care Experienced children and young people up to the age of 26 (although many Corporate Parents go further and extend their support and policies to Care Experienced adults above the age of 26, which we celebrate and consider best practice).  

Although the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act has been enacted since 2015, the idea of Corporate Parenting is not new. The term first appeared in the late 1990s, and the concept of Corporate Parenting has actively informed Scottish Government policy since its 2007 report, ‘Looked After Children and Young People: We Can and Must Do Better’. 

When the state takes on a parental role for a child or young person, we all have a part to play in their wellbeing. Corporate Parents have a vital role to play in ensuring the rights of Care Experienced people are upheld, and that they have the best chances and outcomes in life. Corporate Parenting is all about asking – “would this be good enough for my child?” Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a diverse network of Corporate Parents to support the Care Experienced community. 

Corporate Parenting Duties

As a Corporate Parent, you have the following duties as set out in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014:

  • Be alert to matters which, or which might, adversely affect the wellbeing of looked after children and care leavers. 
  • Seek to provide looked after children and care leavers with opportunities to participate in activities designed to promote their wellbeing. 
  • Promote the interests of those children and young people.  
  • Assess the needs of those children and young people for services and support. 
  • Take action to help looked after children and care leavers access opportunities and make use of the services and access support they provide. 
  • Take any other action you consider appropriate for the purpose of improving the way in which you exercise your functions in relation to looked after children and care leavers.  

You can find more extensive guidance around these duties and what they mean here

Corporate Parenting resources

Who Cares? Scotland have created a Resource Library which hosts a number of individual and thematic digital resources. On this page you’ll find the most recent Corporate Parenting resources which can be downloaded and integrated into existing training platforms.

Support for Implementation of Resources

We are more than happy to offer support and guidance on implementing these resources within your own training programme, or to assist in the development of bespoke resources or modules which offer more contextual insight into the function of your organisation and how it relates to young people. If you would like to discuss the possibility of co-developing e-learning resources and/or bespoke materials, please phone the National Office on 0141 226 4441.

Want to check out the full Resource Library?

Here you’ll find our full range of resources which can be filtered by type and theme depending on what you are looking for.

Training and Education Team at Who Cares? Scotland

The Training and Education Team at Who Cares? Scotland offers fully-funded support to Corporate Parents across Scotland. Find out more about our training offer.