The campaign aims to answer the question, 'why foster?' by showcasing real fostering stories and enlightening tales. We end with a live fostering question and answer session in December.
Emerging from research by Anastasia Scott & Chris Duncan in 2013 for the Department for Education, Scott and Duncan found that around 1.67 million people in England were 'fairly likely', 'very likely' or 'certain to' consider fostering.
Tech giants Google also looked into attitudes around fostering in August 2019. Their online survey found that more than 40% of people surveyed were open to becoming foster carers. Moreover, nearly a tenth of those surveyed said they would absolutely become foster carers.
Despite positive responses to both surveys and no doubt, countless others in between, the balance between looked after children and foster carers remains unstable. Latest figures show there are 78,150 young looked after people in England - 58% of whom are looked after by foster carers (Link to research here).
Devastatingly, the number of foster families available to look after young people in England is in decline; the total in March 2018 was 43,475. And here's the thing - one-third of those foster households do not provide long term fostering placements. That's not right at all.
So, 'what's the missing link?' we hear you ask. Could it be that many would-be brilliant foster carers do not execute on their intent?
We know there are myths about who can foster. We also understand the fostering application process seems complicated. But there's no need to break out in a cold sweat, silenced forever by your doubts when the thought of applying enters your mind.
It would be best if you were cool as ice, armed with evidence that whatever your situation, you can become a successful foster carer. Like a mysterious rider to save the day, this is where our 'Why foster?' campaign comes in to play.
Through our #whyfoster campaign, and particularly our fostering Q & A online chat we will show you that people from all walks of life foster. Not being married, a property owner or being too old* are not prohibiting factors.
Should you successfully become a foster carer, you'll have a stimulating, professional, caring role, with the ability to empower young people to transform from withdrawn or challenging, to determined young adults, able to maximise the opportunities that the world has to offer. The cost of caring for your young person is reimbursed to you, and you will also receive a fee for the skilled work you do. An additional bonus is the ability to carry out your ‘work’ from home.
Don’t just take our word for it though.
"I thought I was too old to apply for fostering at 64, but I've loved every single solitary second.
The training was fantastic; we covered absolutely everything. The support from Anchor is unbelievable, and it's like a family that's grown and grown. I have never phoned up and not had instant help. My Supervising Social Worker was made in heaven. Whatever happens though, the child comes first. The financial reward has to be in second place.
My first girl came at 11 and stayed until she was 19. Another one came at 14 and left at 18 but kept calling me up. My current child is the one I am most proud of because he's a lovely young man, he is a son to me. All three of the children still phone and visit me, and I feel I've made a difference. It's like my own children popping in.
I would recommend fostering with Anchor with no hesitation at all because in my experience they are always there when you need them. They are very fair, every single member of staff is approachable, and they sort out any problems and answer any questions within the day."
The campaign culminates on Tuesday 1st December 2020 with a Why Foster? live Q&A event facilitated by a current foster carer with a wealth of experience.
In the Q&A webinar, we hope to give those thinking of fostering a unique real-time opportunity to ask questions to achieve a personal understanding, rather than being given the hard sell.
Other Why foster? content to look out for:
Videos – Watch our vlog that follows a year in the life of one of our fostering families and the discoveries they make as first-time foster carers.
Blogs – Read thoughtful blogs from our young people and foster carers who charmingly highlight poignant memories, what it's like to be in a foster family, and how the family have developed since fostering.
Live Event – ask your innermost silenced questions to our foster carer expert at our Q&A event which takes place on 1st December 2020 via Zoom, 8 pm GMT.
Only 20 spaces available.
Blogs and other dynamic content will be shared on our social media pages starting Monday 19th October.
*To foster with Anchor, you must be in good health and have a spare bedroom.