CHARITY CALLS ON LOCALS TO GET CREATIVE AND HELP CHILDREN IN CARE

Action for Children called on locals in London to get creative with artist Scott Walker to support some of the most vulnerable children and young people in the area. People of all ages were encouraged to help the artist draw a giant canvas representing the shortage of nearly 9,000 foster carers across the UK at The Mall Shopping Centre in Wood Green on 26 May 2012.

The event was part of the Foster Care Fortnight campaign which highlights the on-going crisis in the care system, and the urgent need for people to come forward to foster some of the most vulnerable and neglected children who cannot stay with their birth families. In London there is a shortage of 1,200 foster carers needed to provide stable family homes for the increasing numbers of children coming into care.

Maggie Ellis, Action for Children Fostering Service Manager said: ‘This event is a really great way to get budding artists and locals from all walks of life involved in such an important campaign. People of all ages can help us make our masterpiece look brilliant and raise awareness that the need for foster carers has never been more pressing.”

Participants in the draw-off were able to fill in picture frames on a giant canvas with images of the 8,750 foster families currently needed throughout the UK. The final masterpiece will bring together canvases from across the country at the end of the campaign. Action for Children hopes the event will also get people thinking about becoming foster carers.

Maggie Ellis said: “So many people have the skills and qualities to be amazing foster carers. We make sure they receive extensive training and ongoing support to meet the needs of the children and young people they foster. They will also be recognised as professional carers and receive a salary. It’s a great way to help turn a child’s life around.”

Don’t despair that you have missed the roadshow. Simply go to www.facebook.com/ActionforChildren and click onto the Foster Care Fortnight tab to create your very own Family Portrait that you can share with your friends. Alternatively, have fun with the resource centre where you can get your hands on a Facebook Cover Photo and Twitter Background.

To find out more about Action for Children’s fostering services please call 0845 200 5162 or visit Action for Children’s website www.actionforchildren.org.uk/fostering

Action for Children runs 13 fostering services across the UK working with the most vulnerable and neglected children and young people: whose families need support; are in care; who are disabled; who experience severe difficulties in their lives, for as long as it takes to make a difference to their lives.

With the theme Time to Care, Foster Care Fortnight celebrates and promotes fostering across the UK, encouraging more people to consider a career in fostering.

Photo credits: Please note the young people are not in care. Jacqui Clark

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