The Corporate Parenting service mainly consists of dedicated services to meet the individual needs of children and young people in care and leaving care. It aims to provide permanency and best outcomes, and to support our children to lead successful adult lives.
The head of service works in collaboration with other services strategically across the council, as corporate parents, to ensure we do what’s best for our children in care and young people leaving care.
Our main partners include Health, Housing, Police, Commissioning and Youth Services who work together as corporate parents.
Children in Care
Our Children in Care service is for children in care, also known as 'looked after by the local authority'. The service is based at Broadside in Chatham.
This service consists of 4 social work teams and a group manager. A qualified social worker is allocated to each child in care, to undertake the statutory social work duties, develop and implement a care plan and provide oversee services to provide best outcomes for children.
The teams focus on legal proceeding, permanency and implementing the child's care plan. They work with statutory partners and agencies to help improve individual outcomes and life chances.
The social workers undertake statutory duties, including regular visits, overseeing the care plan (which is reviewed by an independent reviewing officer). They ensure education and health needs are understood, and actions taken to develop these.
The 16+ Service is for our care leavers. It is based at The Hub, in Strood, our dedicated care leavers hub. At The Hub we provide support and information services for our care experienced young people. These services include practical skills like washing or preparing meals.
The service is divided into 4 teams. These teams contain:
- a team manager
- personal advisors
- social workers
- business support.
Social workers are allocated to the children in care aged 16 to 17, and personal advisors are allocated to care leavers aged 18 to 25. Personal advisors start to work with children in care at age 17 in preparation for transition to adulthood.
There is a Medway Council Corporate Parenting Board, a head of service for corporate parenting and a group manager of the 16+ Service. There are 2 local councillors on the Corporate Parenting Board who are care leaver champions.
Medway Virtual School (MVS)
The Medway Virtual School (MVS) is led by a virtual school head (VSH). The VSH acts as a local council champion to actively support and promote the educational needs and achievement of Medway's children in care and young people leaving care.
The VSH also undertakes a strategic leadership role in championing educational outcomes for children who have, or have ever had, a social worker.
The team works virtually with schools, carers and social workers to help these pupils achieve educational outcomes comparable to their peers. When our children and young care leavers receive a high-quality education there is a strong foundation for widening and improving their opportunities in life.