A new film which talks about the challenges and rewards of fostering launches next week.
The five minute film ‘truth be told’, is being launched by 14 local authorities across the West and East Midlands and looks at the true stories of two sets of children and their foster carers.
The film briefly but honestly captures the highs and lows of fostering. Life with children and young people is always full of challenges, but for those who have been through difficult life situations, the complexities and needs can be even more 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 importantly it looks at the great 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.
This is the third film that 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 will launch at the Odeon, Dudley on Thursday 28 March with invited guests, specialist speakers and foster carers who will be talking about their experiences.
Guest speakers include Kevin Williams, CEO of The Fostering Network, Martin Samuels, strategic director for people services at Dudley Council and Sarah Norman, chief executive, Dudley Council.
There will also be a short Q&A with foster carers talking about their experiences of fostering.
Sue Ridney, cabinet member for childrens services at Dudley Council said:
This is a really moving short film. Life with children always has its challenges, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, sometimes it’s really tough. And when you’re dealing with children who have been through real hardship, trauma or neglect then it can be harder still.
We felt it was important to tell the truth about fostering in all its warts and all glory. We tried to show the profound sense of love, hope and the possibility of new beginnings and happy futures that fostering can bring. I hope that we’ve done the stories justice and that people watching the film feel inspired to get in touch and become part of the Dudley 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.”
In Dudley, the service is keen to hear from anyone interested in fostering but in particular from those who would like to care for teenagers, children with disabilities or those who could take more than one child so brothers and sisters can stay together.
Dudley fostering offers a rewarding career, with a range of fostering options, 24 hour support 365 days a year and comprehensive training and guidance.
People can find out more about fostering and future drop-in sessions by visiting www.fosteringindudley.org.uk emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01384 815833.
Notes to editors
Following the launch the film can be viewed at www.fosteringindudley.org.uk