Regional campaign uses poignant film to highlight the need to foster brothers and sisters

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

An emotive film produced to encourage more people to come forward and foster brothers and sisters will take pride of place in a regional campaign this month.

The campaign will focus on the three-minute film ‘Giants’, which tells the story of Jack and Ellie, siblings who want to stay together in foster care.

With around 20 Lancashire children coming into care each week and needing urgent foster care placements, the county council is keen to lend its support to the campaign and attract local people and families to step forward and find out more. The campaign will run until Saturday 13 October.

County Councillor Susie Charles, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, said: "This short film really demonstrates the importance of keeping brothers and sisters together.

"We realise that when people first start to consider being a foster carer, they don't usually envisage fostering two or more children. But I'm hoping that we can encourage people to at least think it over.

"We keep brothers and sisters together whenever we can. For children who cannot be brought up by their own parents, those sibling relationships take on extra importance. In the midst of the trauma and losses these children experience, being placed with a brother or sister can be an important source of comfort and support, and give them the opportunity to stay together.

"We know that fostering doesn't just improve the lives of the children and young people who are fostered, it also has the potential to enrich the lives of foster carers, their families and others who are involved as well.

"However, we know that fostering siblings might not be for everyone, and we still need carers to come forward to look after children of all different ages and circumstances."

The 30 second version of the video will be available on the county council website at: www.lancashire.gov.uk/fostering/events/you-can-foster/

The regional campaign will be promoted in many other ways over the next few weeks including an advert on ITV, and on social media channels.

During the campaign, the county council will be supporting the regional initiative, but also running its own campaign aimed at recruiting foster carers. The campaign will be promoted online and on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, to act as an incentive for people to come forward.

County Councillor Charles added: "We are pleased to take part in this campaign. In Lancashire, we have 2059 children in our care and we need more people to provide the support and stable homes that these children and young people need to really thrive.

"We have increased our allowances to foster carers in recognition of their valuable role in providing loving homes for the children in our care. There is also a rising demand for placements with more children and young people coming into the care of the local authority each week.

New foster carers can expect to receive between £241 and £300 per week for each child they care for.

People who have considered fostering before, but weren't sure they could afford it, are advised to find out if it could now be a viable option.

No formal experience or qualifications are needed to be a foster carer, all you need is a spare room available and a desire to make a difference to a local child's life.

A package of support is available 24/7 to help foster carers in their role, including local support groups, their own social worker, a dedicated helpline and flexible training.

Recruitment priorities for Lancashire and the region include places for:

- Brothers and sisters – including sibling groups of 3 or more children/young people.
- Older children/young people – over half of all looked-after children are 10 or older
- Children from different minority backgrounds
- Long term – where children and young people are not able to live with their own families for a number of years, if at all. Children and young people stay in a family where they feel secure, while maintaining contact with their birth family.
- Children with complex/additional needs including behaviour that challenges.
- Parents and children together - this involves having a child or children with one or more of the parents in your home and supporting them to care for their children. This type of fostering is challenging but rewarding, and the enhanced allowances offered to foster carers reflect this.

Ends

Tagged as: Children, Education and Families


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