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COUNCILLORS TO ACT AS GUARDIANS FOR LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN

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A parenting initiative is being launched by Westminster City Council....
A parenting initiative is being launched by Westminster City Council.

The scheme involves councillors acting as guardians or 'pushy parents' to children in care, to help improve educational outcomes for this vulnerable group.

Councillors will strengthen the parenting role of the local authority by monitoring the progress of a child in the authority's care, making sure they are satisfied everything is being done that can be to give them the best possible start. Nationally, educational achievement and career prospects for this group is poor compared with others.

The councillors will work 'behind the scenes' without direct contact with the young person and in most cases the child will not be aware of their involvement. `

Councillors will have close contact with social care staff on the progress of their child. They will bring their strong influence to help overcome any obstacles that the child might encounter in his/her educational path, intrinsically linked to a child's overall quality of life.

Traditionally children in care have under-performed in the educational system, however with the progress made in this year's exam results, the scheme is set to further add to this success.

Sarah Richardson, cabinet member for children's services, said:

'Westminster acts as 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. We fully expect this initiative to have a direct and positive impact on the lives of looked after children.'

LOOKED-AFTER CHILDREN PRIORITISED FOR WORK EXPERIENCE

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