Coronation Street and Emmerdale fans will see a slice of real-life drama in a series of prime-time television adverts which aim to encourage more people to become foster carers.
The 30-second commercials, which run from next Monday (Feb 16), will be aired in a TV and radio campaign backed by local councils in the East Midlands. The ads will also feature during ratings-winning game shows such as The Chase and Tipping Point.
Fostering teams within nine local authorities want to use the power of television to help find a loving home for children of all ages. There are currently more than 4,000 children in need of foster care throughout the East Midlands region.
The collaboration comes as local authorities face growing competition from independent fostering agencies. Authorities sometimes use agencies (and pay significantly higher fees) to place children when they cannot find a match with a carer they have recruited themselves.
Recruiting more ‘council approved’ foster carers will help not only help reduce costs in these difficult economic times but councils are better placed to offer local support and have expertise at matching carers with children which are in their care. This also means that foster carers are offered more regular, consistent placements.
Cllr Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services at Nottingham City Council praised the collaborative approach and said “Councils are facing similar issues and are increasingly looking for creative ways to widen their pool of carers to give children the best start in life. This partnership approach has enabled councils across the region to consider TV advertising – a channel normally out of reach due to cost factors – to help raise awareness.”
The adverts illustrate how people can make a real difference to children’s lives and focuses on a family who have become foster carers.
In Nottingham City alone there are around 490 children needing foster care. Tom and Helen were approved to foster over seven years ago with Nottingham City Council. “We asked ourselves not why should we, but why wouldn’t we? We have always felt a strong connection with Nottingham and a desire to serve our city.” With their birth children grown up, Tom and Helen felt they had the time and space to offer to others needing help; especially teenagers.
“Nothing really worthwhile is ever easy. Fostering teenagers is a challenge but is incredibly rewarding as you find ways of building trust, loving and seeing young people thrive. In the process as foster carers we have also grown, developed and learnt so much about ourselves and have built some amazing relationships along the way.”
Well regarded in their community, Helen and Tom are supporting the council’s mission to find more loving homes by encouraging others in their network to find out about fostering.
The 30-second adverts will appear on ITV Central East, Anglia West and Yorkshire Belmont over two weeks – with the same script also being used for a radio advert to be broadcast on Capital, Heart and Lincs FM.
Nottingham City Council’s Fostering Team hope it will encourage potential foster carers to find out more at www.spaceforachild.com or call 0115 9151234.
Watch the you tube video at http://youtu.be/YYoP3j_-bLc