A video has been launched today (May 14) to show how important foster carers are to the children they look after.

Nottingham City Council has produced There Was A Boy in collaboration with 15 other local authorities across the Midlands for the annual Foster Care Fortnight campaign (14-27 May 2018).

The storyline shows a vulnerable teenager’s life in two parallel situations – similar to the 1998 film Sliding Doors – one where he is fostered and one where he is not. The short film shows what a positive influence foster carers can be and how they have the power to make a huge difference to a young person’s life chances and outlook.

The hope is that the video, partly filmed in Nottingham and launched in Birmingham this morning, will inspire more people in the City to come forward as potential foster carers.

The Council’s fostering service is always looking for people to become foster carers. There are around 600 children currently in care in Nottingham and increasing the number of local carers means more children being placed with families where they can grow and learn.

Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years at Nottingham City Council, said: “We’re making really good progress in recruiting foster carers but we will always need more to make sure that children can stay close to their schools, families and friends.

“People who join our fostering community make an enormous difference to the lives of the children they look after – often they perhaps don’t realise how much.

“Most youngsters who come into foster care have faced significant challenges in their lives, and some may have been neglected or abused. The nurturing homes offered by our carers provides those children with the stability and love they need to achieve great things in their lives. Something as simple as just being there for them, always dependable and on their side, has such a positive effect.

“I’m really pleased that we’ve joined forces with partners across the region to produce the There Was A Boy video. The message contained will hopefully resonate with anyone out there who is thinking about becoming a foster carer – you can truly make a difference.”

Foster Care Fortnight is the UK’s largest foster care awareness-raising campaign, delivered by The Fostering Network. Established for almost 20 years, it showcases the commitment, passion and dedication of foster carers. It also supports fostering services like Nottingham City Council to highlight the ne​ed for more foster carers.

Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: “There are thousands of fantastic foster carers from every walk of life who are proud to foster – but there is a need for more people who think they might have the skills and experience to foster to come forward.

“There is a particular need for people to foster teenagers, so anything that can be done to raise awareness of this is to be welcomed. It’s a credit to each of the councils involved in this film that they have come together to collaborate on such a high-quality film that clearly conveys both the impact that foster carers can have and the urgent need for more foster families across the Midlands.”

You can find out more about fostering with the City Council at www.fosteringnottingham.com or by calling 0115 876 3335. You can also find the fostering team on Facebook by searching for @fosteringnottingham.

The next fostering information evening is Tuesday 5 June at Loxley House, Station Street, Nottingham, NG2 3NG, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Please come along and find out more.