OldhamSocial Issues

New film raises awareness of foster care shortage in Oldham

Oldham Council has teamed up with more than 50 local authorities across the country to produce a short film as part of a ground-breaking national collaboration to increase the number of foster carers.

Oldham Council has teamed up with more than 50 local authorities across the country to produce a short film as part of a ground-breaking national collaboration to increase the number of foster carers.

Many of Oldham’s children are in desperate need of nurturing homes. Today’s release of the short film Childhood has been jointly funded by the councils to target local people who may be interested in becoming foster carers.

Having local foster carers ensures that local children can be cared for in the local area and attend their local school.

Oldham’s Fostering Service particularly needs foster carers for older children, children from ethnic minorities, and siblings.

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.

The film shows the journey of ‘Sophie’ and ‘Charlie’ who are in a very difficult home situation where their needs are not being met. They become nurtured and supported through foster care to attend school and are able to enjoy their hobbies and interests. In other words, they are given a ‘childhood’.

Councillor Eddie Moores, Cabinet Member – Children, Young People and Early Years said: We have a foster carer crisis in Oldham but we recognise this is a national crisis.

“We are so pleased to be part of the ‘Childhood’ film which shows how important it is for children to have a supportive upbringing, and to be able to enjoy life to the fullest.

“We need more people to urgently come forward to foster in Oldham to ensure that our children and young people can stay local and be cared for in their communities.

“Oldham Council foster carers are a priority when matching a child to your family, and people who we approve are likely to receive placements regularly and quickly, with strong support.

“Without local foster carers, some of Oldham’s children would need to be cared for outside of the borough in surroundings that are unfamiliar. We want to reduce the disruption to their lives by helping them stay in school, close to their friends, and maintain connections with other family members.”

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.

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, 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.”

The film will be available to watch and share on Oldham Council’s social media pages to help the message spread across the UK using the hashtags #FosterForYourCouncil and #Childhood

Anyone can apply to foster regardless of marital status, sexuality, race or religion, or whether you are in work or have a disability. All the fostering service ask is that you are over 21, enjoy working with children, and have room in your home.

All carers receive a tailored support package, first-class training, and generous payments and allowances, up to £556 per week (dependent on skills and experience).

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