Achievements of children in care honoured at awards
The achievements of children in care and care leavers in the borough were honoured at an awards ceremony.
The annual Children In Care & Care Leavers Awards took place at Dudley College at the end of April.
The awards are a celebration of achievements – both personal successes and recognition of efforts to support other people and causes.
Categories included the Make A Difference award, Super Skill award, Heart of Gold award, Job and Enterprise award and Moving On award specifically for care leavers.
Awards were broken down into three age groups, 8-10, 11+ and care leavers.
A special Helping Hand award was also given out for an adult who has made an outstanding contribution to the life of a young person.
More than 130 nominations came in from carers, social workers, teachers and other young people.
The Children in Care Council (CiCC) and Care Leavers Forum helped to plan and deliver the event, which had a movie theme and also featured table magicians.
Special guest on the night was Samantha Dorrance, a singer, dancer and actress from the Black Country who was most recently Goldilocks in the panto at Birmingham Hippodrome.
Councillor Patrick Harley, leader elect, said:
Every child or young person in care will have had different experiences in life.
This event is designed to acknowledge how these children and young people have made a difference to their own lives or those around them.
The awards hopefully inspire children and young people to strive for success, knowing that the council is behind them every step of the way.
They provide an opportunity for a child or young person to get the recognition they deserve and demonstrates how proud we are of their progression to adulthood.
It is inspirational to see the drive, compassion and achievements of our children and young people in care.
Duncan Barnett, chair of the Children in Care Council, said:
We know that the last two years have been difficult for everyone, with Covid restrictions and lockdowns, and for some of us who are looked after, or are care leavers, it has been especially hard.
We saw our families less, had to get used to home schooling, and then going to school when most people were at home.
We also lost the support networks we would usually have – leading to increased isolation and uncertainty about our futures.
Despite all of this Dudley’s young people in care and care leavers have shown incredible resilience and gone on to do some remarkable things, and so we wanted to come together to celebrate and recognise those achievements.
So often the achievements of children in care and care leavers are overlooked in the news, and we think it’s important to recognise their successes.