The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 19 February 2014 and received Royal Assent on 27 March 2014. The Act introduces a number of important changes for Looked After Children and care leavers in Scotland. Relevant to the college sector these changes include:
• The category of organisations who are considered to be corporate parents has been extended
• Eligibility for aftercare assistance has been extended up to the 26th birthday
• Certain care leavers may continue to have access to the accommodation and assistance they were provided with immediately before they ceased to be looked after
• Support for children at risk of becoming looked after
• Assistance for applicants and holders of a Kinship Care Order.
The College is required, under Section 59(3), to publish a plan and update this every three years. This plan must be made available to the general public with ownership remaining with the organisation. The term ‘care experienced’ will apply to all Looked After Children and care leavers up until their 26th birthday referred to in this document.
Although responsibility for the management of the care experienced is allocated to one team within the College, the role of corporate parent belongs to every individual within the organisation and we are all responsible for fulfilling the corporate parenting duties.
The implementation of the revised Corporate Parenting Action Plan (appendix 1) will be led and monitored through the Student Support Action Group. Senior Management will assist in the dissemination and updating of information across the College using a range of committee and leadership meetings to facilitate this process.