Health and Wellbeing

Fostered children lend their voice to new recruitment campaign

Animation shows pencil sketch drawing of a young boy called Bobby.

Posted on: 16 September 2021

Devon County Council has produced three animations using the real voices of young people who now live in foster care.

It’s the first time real voices of fostered teens have been used to help promote their fostering service.

The council hopes it will prompt people who have thought about becoming foster parents to come forward to help fill a shortfall, and encourage others to consider it.

The digital campaign features three incredible young people – Bobby, Rosie and Phill.

Phill wants to go to University or join the Navy.

“When I first moved in I was six, I was shy and I was nervous,” said Phill.

“We chose how we wanted our room. I wanted it football like as I supported Chelsea.

“They have made a difference to my life because I don’t think that I’ll be where I am today.

“They have encouraged me to be in football teams and other team sports.

“My mum encourages me to believe in myself and supports me with homework and friendships.”

Fifteen year old Rosie has been with her foster carers for nearly eight years.

“When I first came to live with them I had no confidence and now I feel like I can achieve anything I want to,” she said.

“I wouldn’t even paddle in the sea but now I can do a Christmas Day swim.

“I also struggled with school and friendships and I didn’t know why.

“My foster carers helped me to get a diagnosis for Autism and helped me to get the help I needed at school.

“They play an important role in my life as they are role models and parents to me.”

And Bobby loves sports, especially football and rugby.

“I’ve been with my foster carers for seven and a half years,” says Bobby.

“I think that my foster carers have made a big difference to my life because they have parented me like they’ve parented their own son.

“They’ve kept me safe and given me things I’ve wanted and they have made me feel really happy.

“With my foster carer, I have tried new food which I enjoy, found new skills and I got playing for a proper football club.

“I would summarise my experience with my foster carers as the greatest experience of my life.”

Photo of Councillor Andrew Leadbetter

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter is the council’s Cabinet Member responsible for the fostering service.  He said:

“We are always looking to attract more people to come forward to join our fostering family.

“The more people we have as approved foster carers, the better we’re able to match children and young people, and therefore the more successful those relationships become.

“Right now in Devon, we need more foster carers, especially for our teenagers.

“We’re trying something a bit different with this latest recruitment campaign, by using the real voices of three of the young people currently being cared for by foster carers.

“Life for all of our fostered children has been a difficult start, which is why we’re doing our best to give them better opportunities to live normal, young people’s lives, and to enjoy the comfort and safety of knowing that they’re well-cared for and cared about.

“We hope that the campaign resonates with people and that more people come forward to enquire about becoming foster carers in Devon.”

To watch the animations and find out more about fostering in Devon, contact Fostering Devon or telephone 0345 155 1077 or email foster@devon.gov.uk

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