‘A Portrait of Care’ is a collaboration with the University of Southampton, Widening Participation Department. The project will form an online exhibition via Instagram using self-portraiture as a way to combat the negative stereotypes people have about children in care. The project invites those with care experience and those that work in or with the care community to take part and it will feature in the National Care Leavers Week # NCLW2020 between 26 October and 1 November 2020.

Each Instagram post featured in ‘A Portrait of Care’ will have three frames:

  • A selfie or representation of self, for example an avatar
  • Something about the participant now (present)
  • Reveal of ‘care’ role/experience, for example, why participant chose to take part in the project? Or what the participant’s role in the care system is now?

People are free to define themselves and they can define their identity by taking their photograph and by writing whatever it is they want to write about themselves. They do not have to reveal their care status.

This project invites care experienced people, social workers, kinship or foster carers, residential care workers, teachers, charities, designated safeguarding leads, virtual school staff, social care researchers or anyone in the care community, to submit entries for the exhibition as a way to bring together professionals and those with care experience as part of #NCLW2020

Due to the negative connotations associated with being ‘looked-after’, almost every care experienced person comes into contact with discrimination at one point in their lives because of their background. By using portraits, we would hope to de-stigmatise the experience of care to improve perceptions and general public awareness. You cannot tell a person’s care experience from a photograph!

We have launched the event on Instagram/Twitter/private care experience groups and promote leading up to and during #NCLW2020 and continue beyond that until end of November.

We will hold a draw among the first 30 people who participate. The 10 ‘winners’ will have their portrait drawn by a Care Experienced artist. Additionally, every care experienced person who takes part will receive a £5 Amazon voucher.

If you are interested in participating in ‘A Portrait of Care’, contact Rosie Canning at rc11g14@soton.ac.uk, or: