Award ceremony recognises achievements of children in care

PUBLISHED: 14:58 15 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:12 17 June 2010

AN EVENT to celebrate the achievements made by children in care in Devon is being held tomorrow (Friday, January 16).

AN EVENT to celebrate the achievements made by children in care in Devon is being held tomorrow (Friday, January 16).

The Children in Care Awards take place annually, to recognise the efforts of children who are looked after by Devon County Council, and in foster or residential placements.

The children have been nominated for things like sporting achievements at school and clubs, dramatic and musical performances, their own personal development in overcoming difficulties and doing well at school, and their maturity in the process of leaving care and for results in their academic lives. The nominations come from their carers, teachers, head teachers or social workers.

Executive Member for Children and Young People's Services, Councillor John Smith, said: "Young people in care often face a host of challenges on top of the every day ones of growing up, and some have to deal with extremely difficult situations. This can often affect their achievement, and we are working hard to give these young people all the opportunities many take for granted.

"These annual awards mark the tremendous achievements made by looked after children and young people, across all walks of their life, from sporting and academic achievements to improving their communities or personal development."

There are currently around 600 children looked after by Devon County Council, 430 (72%) of whom are in foster care and 170 (28%) in other placements.

Katie Purn, 18, has been nominated for obtaining a place at Exeter College on a fast track course and for continuing to be proactive in securing her future plans as she moves towards independent living.

Katie said: "I was in foster care for three years, and this year have moved into independent living as well as starting my course at Exeter College, so a huge amount has changed since I came out of foster care.

"My social worker nominated me for this award and I was delighted - I was nominated last year and it was a brilliant event, so I'm really excited to be attending again this year."

The event takes place on Friday 16 January, from 6.30- 9.30pm in the Council Chambers, County Hall, Exeter. Mark Goodman - Youth Participation Worker for children in care and the Children's Council will be attending and giving a short presentation.

There will also be entertainment, from face painting and a magician to a living statue, balloon sculptor and a 'have a go' circus skills class. Musical entertainment will be provided by Coombeshead Jazz Band.

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