A new short film to highlight the urgent need for foster families in Staffordshire has been released.
‘Childhood’ highlights the impact of neglect on children, particularly brothers and sisters who may be left at times to try and care for each other.
The film tells the story of Sophie and Charlie who are in a very difficult home situation where their needs are not being met. It then moves on to them being nurtured and supported through foster care and attending school and enjoying their hobbies and interests. In other words, having a childhood.
The film was premiered on Thursday 13 October, at the Every Man Cinema in Birmingham as part of a project involving 56 Local Authorities across England.
Mark Sutton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Staffordshire County Council said: “Having been involved in several of these impactful films in the past, we know they do help to promote the amazing work done by foster carers. It’s great how the film shows the positive impact foster families have on the lives of children they care for and the importance of keeping siblings together.
“Fostering is a great thing to do and it makes a real difference to the lives of hundreds of children in Staffordshire every day. We do have a shortage of foster carers in Staffordshire and are looking to recruit around 60 more families this year. We’ll be sharing the film on our social media channels and I would encourage others to do the same. Anyone interested in fostering or finding out more should get in touch with the team.”
Rachel Brown, who has been a foster carer recruiter for a number of years, led on the national project, said: “Sadly, there is an unmet need for foster carers in the country today and there is likely to be an increase in this need. The cost of living crisis and other struggles families across the UK are facing creates and escalates difficulties for many.”
The project follows earlier, smaller partnerships between local authorities together with the film company ReelTwentyFive.
Richard Bailey from ReelTwentyFive said: “We absolutely love working on these films, and are so proud of the work we have produced and the awards won for them. We feel that this is the best one so far. We have built on the knowledge of previous films, and really feel this one captures the simple yet complex messages about childhood and what it should mean.”
Staffordshire foster carers receive a package of local support and training and a competitive fostering allowance.
People can find out more at www.fosterforstaffordshire.co.uk or by calling 0800 169 2061 and requesting an information pack.
(Main image Emma Howitt and Andrea Johnson from Staffordshire County Council’s fostering service.)