In the latest Talk of the Town column Bromley Town councillor Nicky Dykes shines a light on what's being done to give vulnerable young people in the borough the best possible start in life.

I recently wrote in this column about the passionate debate around school places as parents strive to achieve the best for their children.

I am a parent myself to three young children and I completely understand this desire to get the best for your children.

A good childhood sets up a child for life, leaving them more likely to be healthy and to be in employment in adulthood.

Sadly, not all children are born into a loving and protective family. These are children that through circumstance become children looked after by the council who in turn becomes their corporate parent.

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The children and young people in the care of Bromley Council will have experienced disruption in their childhoods and are among the most vulnerable in our society.

All too often outcomes for them are lower than their non-looked-after peers due to their earlier life experiences and time in care. It’s up to us, as corporate parents, to do everything we can to give them an opportunity of a good childhood – to thrive and to achieve their full potential in life.

A few weeks ago the council held a celebration of achievement awards ceremony for children looked after. An event we host every year to acknowledge the amazing progress of our children.

Like all parents, we have high aspirations for all our children and young people. Their education and personal development is of utmost importance to us as corporate parents. Whether it be success at school or contributing the communities in which they live, our children looked after continue to astound us.

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So why am I raising this now? The truth is that these are the most vulnerable people in our society and yet rarely discussed.

Bromley Council has made unprecedented improvements to its children services which now receive a good rating – with outstanding leadership. While this is of course good news, we must not stop now. We must continue to improve and shine a light on the triumph of the children in our care. We need to continue to aim higher and ask ourselves "if this were my child, would it be good enough?". If the answer is no, then we are failing.

Over the weeks and months to come there will undoubtedly be debates about council tax, budgets and council services. While we can argue about different approaches to this, my plea is to spare a thought for the children’s services that provide a lifeline to thousands of vulnerable children and families across the borough. It may not be the most visible service the council provides, but it is certainly one of the most important.

We must not fail and must stand firm in our commitment to deliver these services. After all, there are many more years ahead of celebrating success judging by the tenacity of Bromley’s children and young people.