Children in care show us who “Stands by Them”

CHILDREN in care have shown who “stands by them” as part of a special art competition – and will now have their artworks recreated by a professional artist.

The Stand By Me art competition, organised by Liverpool City Council’s Fostering Service, ran throughout Foster Care Fortnight, 9-22 May and now elements of all the entries will be included on large canvasses by local artist Ali Harwood which will then be exhibited around the city.

Winning artwork by a three-year-old foster child

Three winning artworks have also been chosen by Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson with those children being awarded vouchers for their hard work.

The project’s aim is to show that children in foster care are resourceful, remarkable and resilient as well as incredibly creative. The theme “Stand By Me” shows the transformational impact that the support of foster carers and the wider fostering community can have on children and young people.

Some of the entries gave an insight into sibling relationships, highlighting the importance of keeping brothers and sisters together as they come into care, whilst others showed how important adults are in a child’s life.

The three winning entries have been created by a nine-year-old girl, a 14-year-old girl, and a three-year-old girl.

One of the three winning entries submitted by a nine-year-old girl

Liverpool City Council needs more foster carers to provide caring and stable homes for children of all ages to give them the best chances in life and realise their ambitions.

The Fostering Service runs regular information evenings and drop-in events for anyone thinking about welcoming a child or young person into their home.

Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to all the children who entered this wonderful art competition.

“They have produced such fantastic pictures of the people in their lives who stand by them. This has been almost impossible to judge and all the entrants are winners. I’m very proud to see that we have so many fantastic artists right here in Liverpool!”

Ali Harwood, artist, poet and teacher, said: “Children in foster care and their adults are awesome. I see their vibrancy and sense of community in my work all the time.

“I’ve been teaching, tutoring and creating art and poetry alongside Looked After Children for a number of years and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. From the many entries I’ve seen for ‘Stand By Me’, the vibrancy and energy of the work is wonderful!

“I can’t wait to bring all their ideas to life on canvas, so we can share their creativity with the wider world and encourage others to get involved with improving all of our futures.”

The third winning entry was created by a 14-year-old girl

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