Essex Pledge to support children in care and care leavers

News / Mon 17th Oct 2022 at 06:48am

ESSEX councillors have signed a pledge signalling their promise to support children in care and care leavers across Essex.

The Essex Pledge is a set of promises written by children and young people being looked after by Essex County Council (ECC).

Each year children and young people get to have a say about what is important to them and whether the pledge’s promises need to change.

The pledge forms part of ECC’s new Co-Parenting Strategy. The strategy sets out the County Council’s continued commitment to children and young people to provide them with the care and support they need to grow into happy, independent adults.

The Essex Pledge to children in care and care leavers is:

We promise:

  1. To do everything we can to make you feel cared about, valued and respected as an individual.
  2. To do our very best to keep you safe, healthy and well.
  3. To make sure you have a social worker or personal adviser who will spend time with you and get to know you.
  4. To do our best to help you keep in touch with your family, brothers and sisters, and friends when you come into care.
  5. To make sure you have opportunities to achieve and succeed.
  6. To fully involve you in decision making so your views are listened to and to explain when we have to make a decision that you may not like or agree with.
  7. To help you become independent.

When a child enters the care of Essex County Council, the responsibility that would normally belong to a parent becomes the legal and moral responsibility of everyone at the council, effectively making all employees and Members Corporate Parents.

ECC Members signed the pledge, setting out their commitment to its promises, outside a meeting of the authority’s full council on Tuesday (11 October).

Cllr Beverley Egan, ECC’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Early Years, said: “As part of our Everyone’s Essex Strategy we’re committed to improving outcomes for vulnerable children and our new Co-Parenting Strategy sets out our aims in order to support children in care and care leavers across the county. The voice and perspectives of children and young people are integral to the strategy, and we worked with members of our Children in Care Council (CiCC) to develop it.

“They have also written The Essex Pledge and it is fantastic to see Members sign and set out their own promise to young people as corporate parents. We want all members, along with staff and partners, to ask themselves “What can I do in my role to help children and young people in and leaving care?”.

“Working together, we can make a real difference to the lives of those living in care and care leavers, helping ensure they are happy, loved, safe and able to achieve their aspirations.”

To view ECC’s ‘Our Co-Parenting Strategy 2022 to 2027’, visit: https://www.essex.gov.uk/plans-and-strategies/our-co-parenting-strategy.

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