Seminar feedback ‘invaluable’

OVER 50 people gathered at Scottish Borders Council’s headquarters last week to take part in a Corporate Parenting Seminar, the fourth of its kind in the Borders.

Organised in partnership with Who Cares? Scotland, the event brought together all the key partners involved in the upbringing of ‘looked after’ children.

Attendees included representatives from SBC, including mid-Berwickshire Councillor Frances Renton; NHS Borders; Lothian and Borders Police, the Scottish Government as well as seven young people who have been looked after.

As of February 1 2011, there were 218 children and young people, from newborn babies to 18 year olds, who are currently termed ‘looked after’ in the Scottish Borders.

This means that the local authority has a variety of duties and responsibilities towards them, including in some cases physically taking care of them.

Most are living with foster carers, kinship carers or being supported to live at home with their own families.

During the course of the seminar, the youngsters present shared their experiences of being looked after and Councillor Ron Smith, Executive Member for Social Work (Integrated Children’s Services, Housing and Community Justice) was among those who acknowledged the value of hearing this direct feedback.

He commented: “Every child deserves the best possible start in life, including those children and young people for whom the council has a Corporate Parenting responsibility.

“We want to be making appropriate decisions for these children just as much as we would for our own children. This involves us listening to the views and opinions of the young people themselves.

“They have given us a lot of invaluable advice, in a forthright and eloquent manner, and I am very grateful indeed for the part they played in the event.”