Foster Care FortnightTM is The Fostering Network's annual campaign to raise awareness of the transformational power of fostering and to celebrate the fostering community.
Foster Care Fortnight 2021 took place from 10-23 May.
The theme for the fortnight was #WhyWeCare. This theme was decided upon through consulting with foster carers and care experienced children and young people from England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
The Fostering Network asked the whole fostering community, from foster carers to fostering services and care experienced children and young people, from fundraisers to campaigners, and everyone in between who cares about the lives of children in care to step up and tell the world #WhyWeCare. Thank you to one of you who got involved and helped us raise awareness of foster care.
Throughout Foster Care Fortnight 2021, the fostering community – from care experienced young people, and foster carers to their sons and daughters, and social workers – came together to spread the word about fostering and share their reflections on this year’s theme, #WhyWeCare. Together, we showed that fostering is not only a viable career option for anyone who wants to transform children’s lives and their own for years to come, but a vocation for many who take the step.
We kicked off this year’s campaign with a takeover of former professional footballer Neville Southall’s Twitter account to bust myths around fostering, share facts and figures, and give people outside the community an insight into what fostering is like. We were also pleased to see how many influential people backed our campaign. This included politicians from across the UK, such as Conor Murphy, Northern Ireland’s Minister of Finance and Vicky Ford, the children’s minister for England, as well as TV star Lydia Bright.
Thanks to fostering services across the UK
This year’s Foster Care Fortnight was a huge success, not least thanks to the tireless efforts of fostering services all across the UK. Hundreds got on board and supported the campaign on and offline. They created videos to reach out to new potential foster carers in their local area, posted placard pictures to tell the world why they care and secured local media coverage.
In total, we were featured in over 900 pieces of media coverage across TV, radio, online and print, reaching more than 27 million people with our message. Media outlets that covered Foster Care Fortnight included both local, regional and national media such as The Independent, ITV, BBC, and Sky News; as well as the Liverpool Echo, Cornish Times, Heart Yorkshire, Ballymoney Chronicle or South Cambrian News.
Trending on Twitter
To our great joy we also managed to create a huge impact on social media. Throughout the fortnight we shared clips of members of the fostering community telling us why they care about fostering which were a huge success and shared widely. Moreover, our main campaign video had almost 19,000 views across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and on top of that – for the first time ever – Foster Care Fortnight was trending on Twitter.
Foster Care Fortnight saw events take place right across the UK, including a special event to recognise the contribution of foster carers during the Covid-19 pandemic, and to remember those who sadly lost their lives.
Other highlights from the fortnight included:
- Minister of Health in Northern Ireland, Robin Swann, launching the campaign,
- young people from across Scotland sharing their educational resources for teachers,
- and foster carers and social workers in Wales learning more about supporting unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young people.
The Fostering Network hosted 13 other events, from coffee mornings for foster and kinship carers through to shared learning sessions, and fostering services in all four nations held their own incredible celebration events.
Even though this was the second Foster Care Fortnight that we had to run with Covid-19 restrictions in place, it was also one of our most successful so far. The engagement from the community this year was second to none, which was also reflected in the (record) number of people who took part in Foster Walk during the campaign. For this we can’t thank you enough.
We are so grateful for the support Foster Care Fortnight received from all our members and supporters and hope you’ll be helping us make next year’s Foster Care Fortnight even bigger!
Could you foster?
Every year, tens of thousands of children across the UK need foster carers while they can't live with their own families. That means thousands of new foster carers are needed every year. Could you be one of them?
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