‘There’s no magic formula’: New fostering film shows ‘Any of Us’ can be a foster carer
Sheffield City Council is inviting more people in Sheffield to consider becoming a foster carer.
There are 647 children looked after in the city and 407 of them live with foster carers, either Sheffield City Council approved foster carers or independent foster carers. Some live with friends and family carers.
But even though the council has 263 foster carers, it still isn’t enough for every child to have a family to call their own.
The short new film, ‘Any Of Us’, which launches on 26th September, has one powerful message - Anyone can foster a child or young person if they have the capacity to care and a spare bedroom.
It is the sixth film, and the largest to date, produced by a growing partnership of councils and children’s trusts to promote local authority fostering, including Sheffield City Council.
Councillor Dawn Dale, Chair of the Education, Children, and Families Policy Committee: “We’re proud to be part of this film project and it is vital that local authorities and children’s services across the country collaborate on projects like this. It means we can shout loudly together about the need for more people to step forward and offer a home to our most vulnerable children and young people.
That message is the same in every town, city, and county.”
‘Any Of Us’ looks at three very different people who all show some of the attributes needed to be a foster carer in incidents from their daily lives. Each in their own way show the caring instinct that is fundamental to being a foster carer. The main character’s stories are all interwoven with Chloe’s, as we see her journey into fostering.
Diane Haimeed has been fostering with Sheffield City Council for 12 years and, in that time, she has fostered 45 children.
Diane said: “This video shows that foster carers aren’t superheroes – we’re just ordinary people who want to help and have taken that step into fostering. Most children just want to feel supported, loved, and part of a family. There’s no magic formula for that, it’s simply about caring enough to help guide them through their childhood in the best way you can.
“I’m very sporty and I’ve found that even something as simple as kicking a football around in the park can open new opportunities that help children grow. You don’t have to have big adventures or spend lots of money to really make a difference. Your day-to-day life is special because it’s safe, and because you are giving them a place to call home, perhaps for the first time. For anyone thinking about fostering, I would say just do it! It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
Councillor Dale added: “This project is all about giving children a chance to thrive and become the best person they can be so the sooner that someone can begin their fostering journey, the sooner they can change a child’s life.
“Our fostering team guides people every step of the way with initial and ongoing training and provides 24/7 support from us and our community of local foster parents who do a fantastic job day in day out. We are proud and grateful for everything that they do and the difference they make.”
The film has been produced by ReelTwentyFive and CAN Digital’s Project Director Rachel Brown.
Rachel said: “Whilst there is always a core message about the difference fostering makes within our films, ‘Any Of Us’ has been more ambitious in telling three different stories from diverse foster carers, based around them sharing their experiences with people considering fostering.
“We hope that this will mean that the film and its messaging will appeal to as wide an audience as possible and encourage people to foster for their local authority.
“Fostering directly with your council or children’s trust means that you can support your local community by working with a fostering service that is dedicated to supporting local children and young people who need a nurturing, safe fostering home.”
Sarah Thomas, Chief Executive of the Fostering Network, says: “The Fostering Network has supported this project since the first collaborative film ‘Giants’ in 2017. It’s fantastic to see the fostering services work together to amplify their message to recruit much-needed foster carers. There’s currently a shortage of 6,000 fostering households in England, so films like this have a vital role to play in encouraging more people to become foster carers.
A lot of people – rightly – praised the John Lewis fostering advert at Christmas time, as poignant and socially responsible. ‘All Of Us’ is right up there alongside it. Now it’s our job to have it seen as widely as possible, so more people take the first step and become the foster carers we need, right across England.”
Those interested in fostering can find out more by contacting Sheffield’s fostering team on 0114 273 5075 and firstname.lastname@example.org.