Every child and young person in care in West Sussex should be supported to achieve and exceed their goals and expectations.
That is the aim of The Promise 2020 – a commitment by West Sussex County Council and its partners to support children in care and care leavers, developed alongside young people who it will benefit.
The Promise 2020 launched today (Wednesday, 12 August), outlining the aspiration to help young people in care to stay healthy and happy, develop skills through education, training and work, listen to their views and act on what they say.
Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: “As the Chair of the Corporate Parenting Panel it was a huge pleasure to be part of working with our young people, our professionals and our partners in making a positive contribution to this piece of work.
“Our young people told us what mattered to them most and we very much look forward to continuing to work with them, continue to listen to their views, supporting their needs and above all, being a good friend to them.”
Every local authority Corporate Parenting Panel makes its own Promise, setting out what young people in care and care leavers can expect from them.
Courtney French, a West Sussex Care Leaver involved in creating this Promise, said: “Prior to discussing the issues that we felt were important, we took time to have a look at the feedback received from care leavers and children in care and their views on the system.
“West Sussex are working hard to improve the lives of children in care and care leavers by listening and acting upon the feedback given. I’m optimistic that these new pledges will positively impact on the lives of children and care leavers.”
The Promise 2020 was shaped by nearly 100 responses to a questionnaire sent out to all young people in care and care leavers across West Sussex.
Lucy Butler, Executive Director for Children and Young People, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we are launching The Promise for our children in care and care leavers.
“We are on an improvement journey and it is really important that we work with partners and our communities to give the best offer to our children and young people.”
Natalie Brahma-Pearl, Chief Executive of Crawley Borough Council, added: “I’m really delighted to be part of The Promise for West Sussex children and young people.
“I think it’s absolutely essential that district and borough councils support our children growing up in our areas.”
Young people will work with the Corporate Parenting Panel in the future to scrutinise and help deliver on The Promise.