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If you are a child in care your local authority takes responsibility as your ‘corporate parent’. Below are some of your corporate parents. These people are in charge of the services that you receive.
Andrew Ireland - Corporate Director of Social Care, Health and Wellbeing
Andrew is responsible for all social care issues in Kent County Council for both adults and children and public health. His job is to ensure that all service needs are fully met.
Philip Segurola - Director of Specialist Children’s Services
Philip's role is to lead all parts of children’s social services. His role is also to make sure services are delivered to a high standard.
Naintara Khosla - Assistant Director of Corporate Parenting
Naintara will focus on children in care, adoption, fostering and care leavers. She works hard to make sure that the services you use work as best as they can for you.
Peter Oakford - Cabinet Member for Specialist Children's Services
Peter will take concerns from social care sectors in Kent to council meetings to steer how children’s services are run.
Tony Doran - Head Teacher at Virtual School Kent
Tony’s role is to make sure that Children in Care are receiving all the help and support in school that they need and to ensure they have the same chance as other children to succeed with their education.
Ann Allen - County Councillor
Ann is the chairperson of the corporate parenting panel where decisions are made about services. Some of the care leaver apprentices from Virtual School Kent also sit on the corporate parenting panel.
Lots of other people work for you too. We have put together this list so you know what to expect from these people.
An advocate is an independent person who can come and help you get your voice heard. They can also give you advice and find solutions to a problem you might have.
Click here for more information on advocacy and how to get an advocate.
The main adult who is responsible for looking after you, this could be a foster carer, or can be a keyworker if you live in a children’s home.
If your family is involved with the courts and important decisions are being made about where you should live, then you may have someone helping you called a Children’s Guardian. This is someone who the courts have asked to make sure that the decisions being made are best for you.
Your Children’s Guardian looks into what would be best for you and then writes a report for the court and gives the judge and the lawyers advice. They will talk to you about what you would like to happen and how you feel, and they will include some of that in their report. They also check that other people involved in helping to sort things out are doing their jobs properly.
This means a friend, relative or other person connected with you. For example, this may be someone like a teacher, child-minder or youth worker that you already know.
Children in Care Nurse
The nurse who does your health assessments and advises about your health needs.
This is a teacher at your school who has a legal responsibility for children who are in care. He or she will know something of your situation, although they may not know personal things about your family background and why you are looked after. They will talk to your social worker regularly about how you are getting on at school. Although you may not mind people knowing that you are in care, your Designated Teacher should not tell other pupils that you are, or treat you differently in front of them.
Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO)
The IRO is a very important person for looked after children. It is helpful if you know what they do and how they are supposed to help you. The most important thing to know is that your IRO is in charge of monitoring your case. They have to ensure the local authority is doing all it is supposed to do for you while you are in care and make sure your placement is right for you and that you are happy. This is different from the job of your social worker, which is to manage your case.
Every looked after child must be allocated an IRO within seven days of becoming looked-after, and must have that same IRO throughout their time in care. This is so that you can build a good relationship with them and you can trust them to help you if things need to change about your situation in care.
If you stop being looked after, but then become looked after again, you must be given the same IRO as before. If your IRO leaves their job they should introduce you to the IRO who is taking over from them before they leave.
You should be given the contact details of your IRO and they should meet you before your first case review. If you have brothers and sisters who are also in care, even if they are in a different placement from you, they should have the same IRO as you. If a mother and her child are both looked after by the local authority they should have different IROs.
This is a person who the local authority can arrange to visit some looked after children to befriend them, but they are not employed or paid by the local authority and are there just for the child. They are someone for you to talk to and have fun with.
If you are placed with another family member this is your carer.
This is the person who takes over from your social worker when you leave care. They will support and advise you and be your contact with the local authority.
This is the person at the local authority who works with you and your family. You will probably have had a social worker working with your family for a while before you came into care. When you first go into care they should spend time making sure you are settled in and will visit to make sure that you are happy with the way you are being cared for. You can phone your social worker and ask them to visit you (in between their regular visits) if you need to talk to them about something.