Fostering, it’s not about the hello, it’s about the whole journey

Published: Friday, 29th March 2019

A new film has been launched to raise awareness of the importance of fostering.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has teamed up with 13 local authorities across the west and east Midlands to produce the five-minute film ‘truth be told’.

The film briefly but honestly captures the highs and lows of fostering, following the true stories of two sets of children and their foster carers. The film shows that the needs of children and young people who have been through difficult life situations can be complex and intense.

The film explores the world of teenager Carl and his carer, and two young sisters, Toni and Leah, cared for by a same-sex couple. This small snapshot into their lives gives a hint of their history and the reality of being a foster carer. But more significantly, it demonstrates the connection, personal progress and depth of love that can come when supporting someone through adversity. The fostering story may begin with a hello, but that’s just the beginning of a rich, complex and ultimately rewarding journey.

The film is the third which the collective fostering services have produced to promote fostering and find new carers. While it features actors, the stories are those of real foster carers.

The film launched at an even in Dudley on Thursday (28 March), with guest speakers including Kevin Williams, the chief executive of The Fostering Network.

A Stoke-on-Trent City Council spokesman said: “We are committed to ensuring that our city’s young people get the best possible start. Life with children always has its challenges and when you’re dealing with children who have been through real hardship, trauma or neglect then it can be harder still. Foster carers are extraordinary people who welcome vulnerable youngsters into their lives and they do an amazing job.

“The work that they do has been put into focus through our recent Ofsted inspection. We are investing heavily to make significant and swift improvements to the service and many of these changes are already under way. We are absolutely committed to providing the best possible service and support for our foster carers and our children.

“This incredibly moving short film shows fostering in an honest light highlighting the difficulties but also how rewarding it can be. We hope it will inspire people to get in touch and become part of the Stoke-on-Trent fostering family.”

Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: “Good foster carers can transform the lives of the children living with them. That’s something remarkable that is happening every day in thousands of homes across the UK.

“Being a foster carer can be extremely rewarding when you see the difference that you are making, but it can also be incredibly challenging. This new film clearly shows both sides of fostering – the complexities and the joys – and it’s so important to do so in order to attract the right people with the relevant skills and experience to come forward to foster.

“This film demonstrates what a vital role foster carers play in the lives of children. There is a real need for more foster carers like those shown in the film, and I would urge anyone who is up for the challenge to pick up the phone today.”

Fostering for Stoke-on-Trent City Council offers a rewarding career, with a range of fostering options, comprehensive training and guidance and the team is keen to hear from anyone who would be interested in fostering.

People can find out more about fostering and future drop-in sessions by visiting stoke.gov.uk/fostering, emailing fostering@stoke.gov.uk or calling 01782 234555.

View the film

For all media enquiries please contact the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 236156.