Councillors at Westminster Council in central London will take on the role of ‘pushy parents’ for children in care in a bid to improve levels of educational achievement among this vulnerable group.
Under the new scheme, councillors will strengthen the local authority’s corporate parenting role by monitoring the progress of individual looked-after children, making sure they are satisfied that everything is being done to give them the best possible start.
Traditionally, educational achievement and career prospects for this group are poor compared with other children. So councillors will use their influence to help children in care overcome obstacles that could otherwise hinder their performance at school.
Although councillors will have close contact with social care staff on the progress of “their child”, in most cases they will not have direct contact with the children themselves.
“Westminster acts as a parent to a high number of children who have experienced violence or whose life experiences are such that the local authority has to step in,” said cabinet member for children’s services Sarah Richardson. “We fully expect this initiative to have a direct and positive impact on the lives of looked after children.”