A young child from Leeds has been announced as one of the winners of The Inspiring Stories competition, a new creative writing competition encouraging young children in foster care and birth children of parents who foster, to tell their stories and a new generation of adults to sign up as foster carers.
Proud winner, Laiton Mackintosh entered his story, entitled ‘My mum’s a superhero’, in the ‘Sons and Daughters’ category, and talks about his mum opening up her home and heart to foster children in Leeds, as the ‘Love Hero’. The category was open to birth children up to the age of 18 whose parents foster children and young people.
Developed by the award-winning ‘You Can Foster’ campaign, The Inspiring Stories competition was open to foster children and birth children of foster parents from all over the North of England and judged by an auspicious panel of children’s authors and poets including children’s author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce, poet Tony Walsh, children’s authors Cathy Cassidy, Livi Michael and Dan Worsley.
The Inspiring Stories competition was judged across four age categories as well as the ‘sons and daughters’ category and aimed to explore the ambitions of the thousands of children and young people who are in foster care across Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire and Merseyside.
The stories reveal the real sense of value and motivation that foster carers instil in the young and the profound way in which they can help shape young lives for the better.
Award winning author Livi Michael says:
“All these entries were so good – each of them inspirational and touching in their own way. My winner is ‘My mum, my super hero’. This story is so moving and there is such a strong sense of voice that the writing leapt off the page. I loved the repetitions and the idea of the mother as Superhero! A big well done to all the other winners as well, I loved reading your work!
Inspiring Stories was a great opportunity for young people to see their work in print. Everyone who entered had a chance to launch themselves on a literary career! We wanted to encourage talent, of course - but even the ones who didn’t win can put on their writing CV that they have been brave, inspired and determined enough to enter a creative writing competition.”
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, executive member for children and families at Leeds City Council said:
"The ‘Inspiring Stories’ competition was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the creative and ambitious people who are, or have recently been, in foster care, by giving them the opportunity to tell their story.
It is fantastic to hear that one of the award winners is a young boy from Leeds and I offer my heartfelt congratulations to him and his Superhero mum!
As part of our Child Friendly Leeds ambitions we want to give all children the chance to have their voices heard and we hope that this will inspire other young people who are also in care and encourage more adults to consider becoming a foster carer themselves.
Leeds is part of the You Can Foster partnership which is focused on recruiting foster carers to provide local children, teenagers and young adults with a supportive home where they can achieve their dreams and ambitions. We have a real need for more foster carers and we urge anyone who is interested to get in touch.”
Fostering is when someone looks after a child or young person who can’t live with their own family and is in the care of the local authority. There are a number of reasons they might not be able to live with their family and it can be a very difficult time for the child so they’ll needs lots of support and care. There are around 8,255 households across the North of England who foster for their local authority.
Across Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside there are around 11,525 children living in foster care. Local Authorities particularly need to recruit foster carers for certain groups of children including:
• Brothers and sisters
• Older children and young people
• Children from black and ethnic minority backgrounds
• Children that will be in foster care long term
• Children who need more specialist care
For more information please visit http://youcanfoster.org/
Notes to editors
* ‘Fostered children’ refers to those who are currently in foster care or have been in foster care before.
** ‘Fostered young adults’ includes those in staying put placements and care leavers.
For further information about the Inspiring Stories competition please contact Richard Hector-Jones at Creative Concern on 07966378968 or email email@example.com