A flag designed by youngsters is flying from Dudley Town Hall ahead of an awards ceremony celebrating the achievements of children in care tonight.
The flag, which carries the initials M.A.D (Make A Difference) on a shield flanked by two wings, is being flown in the run-up to the awards.
The Dudley Children in Care and Care Leavers Awards will celebrate the talents and achievements of looked after children and those leaving care in Dudley, with a theme of ‘superheroes’.
The Horizon Award will recognise a young person who has “shown ambition, aspiration, resilience” despite the barriers they have faced.
The Make A Difference Award will honour someone who has made a positive contribution in their community, possibly by volunteering, or helping others.
The Super Skill Award is for those who have shown talent or excelled in a particular field – such as sport, art, or academically.
The Fierce Friend Award will recognise a young person who has “shown tremendous support to a friend”. This can either be a good friend to someone in care or a care leaver, or someone with care experience who has been a good friend.
For the Horizon, Make A Difference, Super Skill and Fierce Friend awards, there will be awards given out in three age categories. They are 8-11, 12+ and care leavers.
There will also be a Job & Enterprise Award, recognising a care leaver who has shown “determination, commitment and motivation” in their work or business.
The Care Leavers Employer Award is for employers who go out of their way to support care leavers in their training or employment.
Finally, The People’s Award will recognise any adult who has made an outstanding contribution to a young person or people. They could be a teacher, social worker or a foster carer.
It comes as the council officially released a new booklet at the Black Country Living Museum last week outlining what the local authority is offering in terms of support to care leavers.
Councillor Susan Ridney, cabinet member for children’s services, said:
The flag looks fantastic and it’s great to see it flying high on top of the town hall.
Along with the release last week of our new care leavers booklet known as our care leavers offer, both are strong symbols of our commitment to support not just children in our care, but also care leavers on the next stage of their life journey.
We’ve had a lot of fantastic nominations for the awards themselves and it’s going to be very hard to pick the winners. It will be a great night celebrating some real life superheroes.”
This year’s awards are being planned and organised by the Dudley Children in Care Council and the Care Leavers Forum.