In a ground-breaking national collaboration, Stockport Council has partnered with 56 Local Authorities across England to share ideas and jointly fund the creation of a short film to raise awareness of fostering. It is aimed at finding more people who may be interested in becoming foster carers and providing nurturing, positive homes for children and young people across the country who need them.
The new film, simply called ‘Childhood’, highlights the impact of neglect on children, particularly brothers and sisters who may be left at times to try and care for each other. It shows the journey of ‘Sophie’ and ‘Charlie’ who are in a very difficult home situation where their needs are not being met, to being nurtured and supported through foster care to attend school and be able to enjoy their hobbies and interests. In other words, have a childhood.
It’s release is timely, with October being Sons and Daughters month recognised nationally. Councillor Wendy Meikle, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education, commented:
“Stockport is delighted to be involved in this ground-breaking national collaboration with over 56 local authorities to try and highlight the urgent need for foster carers to come forward to look after our local children and young people in their own communities. While we already have many brilliant foster carers in Stockport, the reality is we always need more people to open their homes and their hearts to fostering. This project has been a superb way of working together to make the production of a high-quality film that will be a real asset to our recruitment of new foster carers for Stockport.”
“The aim is that this film will be shared on social media reaching our residents and showing them the many benefits fostering brings and helping children and young people into safe, nurturing homes and we are very proud to have played a part in making it happen. By being a part of this project, we can see that we get the best benefits from pooling resources. The time, knowledge and expertise that working as partners has brought to this project can now help the children and young people in Stockport.”
‘Childhood’ is a beautifully poignant film which highlights the impact of neglect on children, particularly brothers and sisters who may be left at times to try and care for each other and really captures many of the thoughts and emotions being felt today, particularly as many people have reflected during the pandemic about their life choices and the importance of community support. I think the film itself and the shared approach really demonstrates the benefit of collaborative working”
‘Childhood’ was officially launched with a premiere at the Everyman cinema in Birmingham on the 13th of October, and if you are interested in watching Stockport Council’s fostering short film, you can do so using the following video link.
Kevin Williams, Chief Executive of The Fostering Network, commented: “We continue to value and support foster carers but we urgently need more foster carers to come forward to care for children within their local communities. Foster carers are the bedrock of children’s social care; they are vital in our society and our young people rely on their care, dedication, passion and skills to support them when they need it most.”
Across the UK, around 9,265 more fostering families are needed, to make sure every child that can’t live with their own family gets the care they need. Currently, there are over 70,000 children living with almost 56,000 foster families in the UK, and the number of children coming into care keeps rising. The reasons children become looked after vary widely. We need more people to come forward to foster, to stand by their side and to be there for them no matter what.”
Rachel Brown, who has been a foster carer recruiter for a number of years and led on the national project, said: “Sadly, there is an unmet need for foster carers in the country today and there is likely to be an increase in this need. The cost of living crisis and other struggles families across the UK are facing creates and escalates difficulties for many.
“Having worked on previous projects we know that these beautifully crafted films have a real impact. With the support of CAN Digital, I am really proud that we will reach even further around the country, a third of all council fostering services in England. We’d like to thank every single person involved in what has been a great collaborative experience.”
“The aim is that this film will be shared on social media and other platforms, right across the country, reaching many more people and leading them to consider whether the rewarding role of fostering could be an option for them.”
For more information about becoming a foster carer with Stockport Council contact the Council’s Recruitment Team on 0161 474 3400 .