Calling all foster carers: We need your help

Can you help us find more foster carers like you?

Mar 9 2020

As you know, we need to find more foster carers in Hampshire. In 2020/21, Fostering Hampshire Children will be trying some new things to help us raise awareness of fostering with Hampshire County Council. We have taken on board your great ideas and feedback from our latest surveys and we have listened to the voices of prospective foster carers in focus groups.

We aim to:

  • Share real stories to portray what it’s really like to be a foster carer
  • Supply foster carer kits so you can attend your own events
  • Launch an e-newsletter to improve communication with you
  • Refresh the website so everyone can find what they’re looking for more easily
  • Implement targeted campaigns that challenge the misconceptions of fostering
  • Reach new audiences such as children’s groups, colleges and universities and employers

To help us achieve some of these things, we need content. You can make even more of a difference by helping us provide this content in several ways:

  1. Reviews
  2. Real stories
  3. Training
  4. Referrals
  5. Media – photos and video
  6. Events
  7. Social media

If you would like to get involved please read more below and let me know on 07562 434910 or email amber-rose.rawlings@hants.gov.uk or cft.duty@hants.gov.uk today.  

Kindest, 
Amber-Rose

Amber-Rose Rawlings
Marketing and Communications Officer
Hampshire Fostering Recruitment and Assessment Team

 

  1. Reviews - Takes 5 to 10 mins 
    Please leave us a review on Facebook and/or Google - it’s really quick and easy to do. You can write a one-liner or you could leave a couple of paragraphs about what you think of our fostering service and what it’s like to be a foster carer. 

  2. Real stories - Takes 30 mins+ 
    Are you happy to share your fostering story? Real stories can really help someone decide if fostering is for them. If you would like to share your story, consider the following: 

    o Why you initially began fostering? 
    o Why is fostering so important? 
    o How has it affected your life? 
    o What does it mean to be a foster carer? 
    o Why did you choose to foster with Hampshire? 
    o What type of care do you offer? 
    o What are your top three highlights of fostering? 
    o How do you say goodbye to the children/young people you’ve cared for? 
    o What was the assessment process like for you? 
    o What do you find the most challenging part of fostering? 
    o How do you deal with challenging behaviour? 
    o How long have you been fostering for? 
    o How do you welcome a new child/young person into your home/family? 

    How do I share my story? 
    o Contact me directly and we can organise an informal chat in person 
    o Call me directly on 07562 434910 for an informal telephone interview 
    o Or, you can write your story and email it to amber-rose.rawlings@hants.gov.uk 

    Please note, anyone can write a story and share it with us. It may be your child, a friend, a family member, a care leaver or even a colleague. The more diverse the stories, the better! We will ask for permission before we share your story and you can request anonymity. 

  3. Training - Takes 1 day+ 
    Is there a subject matter that you’re particularly interested in? Would you consider delivering training at the ‘Skills to Foster’ and ‘Preparing to Foster’ courses? Providing training will: 

    o Boost your confidence by sharing your knowledge and expertise 
    o Learn from others and build on your professional development 
    o Keep up to date with the latest guidance and legislation relevant to your role 
    o Enhance your childcare skills 
    o Meet new friends and network with other carers 
    o Aid your Skills Appraisal. Participating at events and helping to deliver training look good on your Skills Appraisal – they are mandatory if you wish to apply to become Skills Level 3. 

  4. Referrals - Time varies 
    We’ve put together a foster carer kit which gives you the tools to help raise awareness of fostering in Hampshire. It includes: 

    o Guide to help you use the kit 
    o Awareness posters and leaflets 
    o Information packs 
    o ‘How else you can help’ leaflets 
    o Transferring leaflets 
    o Refer-a-friend cards 
    o Some merchandise 

    Remember, if you refer us a friend and they become an approved foster carer with us you can get up to £500. 

    If you would like your own foster carer kit to help you find more foster carers, please email cft.duty@hants.gov.uk or call 01489 587052. If your friend is a foster carer with an IFA, you could receive £500. If your friend is new to fostering, or they’re already a foster carer with another local authority, you could receive £250. 

  5. Media – photos and video - Takes ½ day 
    From April 2020, we will be updating all our video footage and need eight fostering families to feature in them. Don’t worry, we will let you know the questions beforehand! 

    We will also be looking to organise another photoshoot to get some more promotional photos for the website, digital ads, social media and print. 

    If you are interested in modelling or featuring in our upcoming interviews, please email cft.duty@hants.gov.uk and let us know. We will ask you to complete a permission form, so we have consent to share the footage/photos for promotional purposes. 

  6. Events - Takes 2+ hours 
    Events are one of the best ways to engage with potential foster carers and you are one the best people to answer their questions, because you know what it’s like first-hand to foster. 

    If you’d like to join us at a recruitment event, we can let you know our upcoming event details. Simply email cft.duty@hants.gov.uk and say what areas you’re happy to cover. If we have an event in that area, we will let you know, and you can tell us if you’re available that day to help or not. 

    If you’re interested in hosting your own information stand on our behalf, let us know and we’ll support you. We would be happy to provide you with a tablecloth and pop up banner, in addition to a foster carer kit. Events may include local school fairs and coffee mornings etc. 

    Participating at events and helping to deliver training look good on your Skills Appraisal – they are mandatory if you wish to apply to become Skills Level 3. 

  7. Social media - Takes 5 to 10 mins 
    If you don’t already, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share our posts. Ask your friends and family to follow us too – by doing so, you’re helping us reach many potential foster carers in the county.