The following article appeared on medium.com and was written by the YSI North East Regional Equalities Officer Charlotte Armitage.
I recently featured in a Scottish Government video which aimed to raise awareness on corporate parenting. The video featured myself and other young people speaking non scripted about why this particular law is important to us as Care Experienced young people.
To my bemusement, the video was subject to cruel comments which implied that the Scottish Government were using Care Experienced young people as a political tool the same way Nazi Germany and Hitler used children during the Second World War.
I spent my evening sifting through twitter, and I was shocked at some of the poisonous comments that I read. Comments such as;
“So here we have the #SNP taking advantage of vulnerable kids and having them say things like this”
“Using kids to push your agenda is not a good look”
“What is well-being? Is this the Scottish Government’s way of pushing Named Person in through the back door?”
Let me just start with the definition of well-being. Well-being is defined as; the state of being comfortable, healthy and happy. Three simple things which any parent would wish their child to be, yet when the state steps up for its children looking to provide those three simple things, there's an uproar of accusations towards the state. Accusations of political gain and agenda.
Care Experienced young people are NOT a subject or matter which political parties can use to their own advantage. We are human beings, who deserve equal opportunities and the same life chances as our non-Care Experienced peers.
Something I think is clear from these comments of course, is that it exposes these people as angry, ignorant and uninterested in the actual subject of the video. Which is extremely difficult to absorb when you are the actual subject of the video.
However, the purpose of this blog is not to go into more detail about those comments than they deserve, rather to educate those who cannot find differences between corporate parenting and named persons.
Whatever your views on named persons, corporate parenting is entirely different.
“In simple terms, a corporate parent is intended to carry out many of the roles a parent would. They may not be able to provide everything a loving parent can, but they should still be able to provide the children and young people they’re responsible for with the best possible support and care.”
There are 24 named corporate parents, all of which have shared responsibility for Care Experienced children and young people in Scotland. Which is were a lot of confusion comes from. Corporate parents are not responsible for every child or young person in Scotland. Only those in state care, or who have previously been in the care of the state. That in itself is entirely different from the proposed named persons scheme.
Corporate parenting is the state recognising and accepting that it has previously been a lousy parent for those in its care. It is the Government and Public Bodies committing to do better and stand by us the same way any traditional parent would. They are giving us the opportunity to thrive, not survive.
Corporate parenting is important to me and many other Care Experienced young people because for the first time in a long time a parent has shown us love, care and affection. Corporate parenting has the potential to change a child or young persons life and I am disappointed to see bitter comments which overlook the great thing that it is.
There lies the problem, individuals commenting without researching the subject and not a care as to the damage their words can cause.
By deliberately trying to conflate named persons and corporate parenting you are doing so to the detriment of Care Experienced young people across Scotland who have and continue to benefit from it.
I, as a Care Experienced young person will continue to celebrate corporate parenting and so should you.
If you wish to learn more about corporate parents and their responsibilities, further information can be found using the website below;