Cardiff's Commitment to Children Looked After is highlighted in annual report


Cardiff's dedication to provide the best care and support for the city's children looked after and care leavers, has been highlighted in a report published by the Council's Corporate Parenting Advisory Committee.

Working collaboratively across the Council, Social Services, Health, Education and other statutory agencies, the Committee ensures the collective responsibility for the wellbeing of children in care and aims to safeguard and provide the best opportunities for these children to succeed in life.

The report notes a number of successful and key activities undertaken by the committee since March 2022 including securing Welsh Government grant funding to establish a Virtual School and Virtual School Headteacher (VSH) to work in partnership with other authorities to support the educational progress of children in their schools but looked after by other areas.

Other highlights include, the Bright Sparks Award Ceremony held at City Hall to celebrate the achievements of children looked after, the delivery of training and support to members on the responsibility of corporate parenting and the progression of the revised Corporate Parenting Strategy, a three-year multi agency plan that sets out what we all need to do as corporate parents to support our Looked After Children and Care Leavers to enable them to thrive.

Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry reflected on the report; "Following the easing of Covid 19 restrictions, the Committee have been able to re-engage with care experienced children and young people, providing members with the chance to hear the views, challenges and achievements directly from care experienced young people in Cardiff. A particular highlight for me has been attending the annual Bright Sparks awards, this ceremony has been running for 17 years and recognises the achievements of children looked after, families, carers, and staff. I was privileged to be able to give out an award on the evening, and it was fantastic to see all the accomplishments of our young people and celebrate their success, resilience, and determination.

"Looking to the year ahead, the Committee will focus on building on engagement sessions, as well as visiting services, and organisations providing opportunity to hear from staff, families, and young people directly, on the services that support them."

Cllr Ash Lister, Cabinet Member for Children's Social Services added: "The Committee is dedicated to improving the lives of children looked after in Cardiff and I am particularly proud of the work undertaken to establish the Virtual School model, which will be piloted until August 2024. This will seechildren and young people continue to attend the schools they are registered at, with the Virtual Headteacher tracking their progress, helping to progress attainment and achievement and further improve the educational outcomes of all children and young people who are looked after.

"Through collaboration, engagement, and monitoring, we are striving to ensure that every child in our care has the best possible chances in life."

The report was looked at by the Children and Young Peoples Scrutiny on May 15.  You can read it in full hereAgenda for Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee on Monday, 15th May, 2023, 5.45 pm : Cardiff Council (