How long should the profile be?
A look at Be My Parent word counts, recommendations and our editing service
Our standard-sized profile is an eighth of the page for single children, and more for sibling groups, depending on the number of children.
As it can sometimes be difficult to say all that needs to be said about a child in just a few words, you have the opportunity to feature single children in a double space, known as an enhanced profile.
You can also book half a page or even a full page to feature a child or a sibling group in the newspaper. You could have a longer profile, including quotes from the child or significant adults in their lives, poems, drawings, etc, or a larger photograph. For half or full-page profiles, you can also include several, larger photographs and have the scope to be more creative!
Profiles should be of approximately the length given below (covers all the words actually published in the paper, including all the child’s details). It is better to provide too much information than too little.
|Type of profile||Published word count||Size on page|
One child (standard)
One child (enhanced)
Sibling group of 2-3
Sibling group of 4-5
Sibling group of 6 or more
The word count for half and full-page profiles will depend on the other materials to be included (photos, drawings, etc). Please discuss with Be My Parent staff or see this PDF (155 KB) for more information.
The advantage of web profiles is that there is no space limitation, giving you the opportunity to say a lot more about a child. However, quality is usually better than quantity! We would recommend a maximum word count of 500 words for an individual child, and 900 words for a sibling group. You can exceed these recommended word counts, but the profile may not be as reader friendly for the web, as it will involve a lot of scrolling down the page.
Remember that you also have the opportunity to provide quotes from the child, their foster carers, teachers or social worker, which will make the profile lively and stand out.
If you feature a child in the open area of the website, they will need a short profile, which will appear in that area, with a thumbnail of their photograph. This short profile should be around 50 words, and no more than 58. Exceptionally, where it is absolutely necessary for a sibling group, we can exceed this figure a little. You can write a short profile yourself, but if you do not provide one, our Editorial team will compose it.
Please see the separate sections of writing profiles for either the web or newspaper, bearing in mind that it is preferable that you send in two profiles. Although we will edit profiles, it is best if you make it clear what information you think is most important and should be included in the newspaper.
We edit all profiles submitted, in consultation with a qualified, experienced social worker, to ensure that the profile:
- is the right length for the newspaper (if applicable)
- fits in with Be My Parent house style
- follows good social work practice
- flows well from a logical point of view, avoids repetition and is reader friendly.
We will advise you of any significant change(s) and discuss queries with you. So please make sure that you've given us your correct and current contact details!
Last updated: 11 June 15