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Young people create film to change views about what it means to be in care

14-year-old Margita came up with the idea to create a short film to challenge stigma around being in care.

10/07/24

Young people create film to change views about what it means to be in care

A group of young people have helped create a film to break down the stigma around growing up in care.

The children, who are all in the care of Derby City Council, shared their own views and experiences of the care system to shape the film.

The young people meet as part of Derby’s ‘Our Voice, Our Success’ group and the Derby Virtual School, which are both part of the Council. The idea to make a film came from 14-year-old Margita, who wanted to change the people’s views about what it means to be in care.

The Council’s Participation team, which supports Derby’s children in care, helped to take the idea forward and connected the young people with creatives from Derby Theatre. Around 15 youngsters took part in a series of workshops to produce the seven-minute animated film, which is called One Day.

“I had an idea about teaching children and adults what being in care is like. Some people feel ashamed of it because other kids don’t understand,” Margita said.

“People treat you differently and they always ask, ‘Is it like Tracy Beaker?’ But we’re no different from any other young person – we’ve just got different parents.”

“This film is really important to me. I feel excited to share my story and other people’s stories and I hope it changes how people think about being in care.”

There are approximately 380 children of school age in care in Derby and the animation has now been showcased at the Virtual School Festival.

Virtual Schools are a service provided by a team of professionals to co-ordinate the educational needs of children in care and children previously in care. Working in partnership with schools, carers and social workers, they ensure that children in care receive the best education 'virtually' – children and young people do not actually attend, they remain the responsibility of the school at which they are enrolled.

The young people involved in making One Day were invited to see the film for the first time at a red-carpet screening at QUAD.


“I’ve been in care for four years,” Tia, aged 15, said. “The Virtual School has helped me to get involved in things and be with other young people who are in care. People that aren’t in care don’t know what it’s like.”

“We get judged and bullied because we’re not with our parents. I hope they will watch this and change how they think. I feel amazing to be part of something like this.”

The film will now be shown at the national Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) Conference in July. Derby City Council is exploring how to use the film to educate and inform to provide a better understanding of the care experience.

Suanne Lim, Derby City Council’s Director of Early Help and Children’s Social Care, praised the ‘wonderful job’ the care experienced young people had done.

“What they’ve created is truly inspirational and conveys such a powerful message about what it's like in care. It’s really quite emotional to watch.”

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/derbycc

Picture credit: Derby City Council. 14-year-old Margita (centre), with Suanne Lim (L) and Paul Simpson (R) from Derby City Council

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