Celebrating Southampton’s looked-after children and care-leavers

We've launched our first-ever Love our Children Week - a celebration and showcase of the talents, abilities and creativity of the city’s children-in-care and care leavers

The programme of events has been put together in partnership with young people and is taking place across the city over the next week. These include a small invitation-only street food market showcasing the culinary talents of young people in the city, the launch of a cook-book specially produced by young people in collaboration with Masterchef winner Shelina Permalloo, and a football match between staff and young people.

The council is also holding specialised training sessions and providing new resources for staff to help further improve the support it provides to looked-after children and ensure they are given the best possible chance for their future.

At a launch ceremony yesterday, attendees including Councillor Peter Baillie (Cabinet Member for Children's Social Care) and Rob Henderson (Executive Director, Wellbeing - Children and Learning) pledged the council’s commitment to providing the best possible support and care to young people as ‘corporate parents’. A corporate parent is the name given to an organisation or person that has responsibilities to children in care. For Love our Children Week, the council asked young people to produce their own corporate parenting ‘job profiles’ setting out the traits and characteristics that they want to see from all council staff and anyone else who shares responsibility for being a corporate parent. These job profiles have now been officially adopted by the council as reflecting the standard of corporate parenting that all staff should aspire to.

Councillor Peter Baillie, Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, said: “It’s important for everyone - not just at the council but anybody who plays a part in making decisions for young people in Southampton - to recognise the special and important responsibility that comes with being a corporate parent. We’re pleased that we’ve been able to bring together this exciting celebration of the talents and achievements of our looked after children and care leavers, but we know that there is more work to do to further improve the support they receive. That’s why we’ll continue listening to them, working with them and making their needs a priority as they make the transition to adulthood.”

Love our Children Week

Adults pictured (Left to Right): Councillor Alex Houghton (Mayor of Southampton), Robert Henderson (Executive Director, Wellbeing - Children and Learning), Councillor Peter Baillie (Cabinet Member for Children's Social Care) with young people involved in Love our Children Week.