Coventry leads the way in fostering drive

Published Thursday, 07 October 2021

Coventry is leading work to recruit more foster carers across England, with the national release of a new short film.

A still from the film

For the first time, the city has reached out to councils around the country to work together, share ideas and jointly fund the creation of a film, aimed at helping to find more foster carers who can provide homes for children and young people who need them.

The short film, called ‘Out There’, highlights the ways fostering can make a difference to the lives of everyone involved, from the children and young people who live with foster carers, to those who come forward to care for them.

It follows earlier partnerships between Coventry and councils in the West Midlands that have produced award-winning films such as ‘Giants’ and ‘There was a Boy’.

Cllr Patricia Seaman, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Coventry City Council, said: “Sadly, there is still a great need for foster carers in our city and around the country.

“We are very fortunate to have many wonderful people who foster in Coventry and they are supported by a fantastic team. Together they are making a real difference to many lives, but more needs to be done.

“Our previous work has shown that these short films have a real impact and this time we are proud that we have taken the step to reach out around the country instead of just our region.

“The aim is that this film will be shared on social media in cities, towns and villages right across the UK, reaching countless people and showing them the many benefits fostering brings and helping children and young people into safe, nurturing homes.”

A total of 34 local authorities have been involved in the project, and the film will have a virtual premiere at midday on 12 October which will include an introduction from Kevin Williams, the Chief Executive of The Fostering Network and Martin Reeves from Coventry City Council. Everyone attending from the participating councils will then be asked to share the film via all social media platforms and help the message spread across the UK using the hashtag #FosterForYourCouncil

Rachel Brown, Coventry’s Fostering Recruitment and Development Officer, who has led the project, said: “In the West Midlands, we have seen that we get the best benefits from pooling resources, time and knowledge and working as partners to help the children and young people in our area.

“Our previous films have been really well received and have directly led to more people coming forward to foster across Coventry and the other participating areas, and so this time we thought we should be more ambitious and take a national approach, and we are very proud of the result.

“Out There is a beautifully poignant film which really captures many of the thoughts and emotions being felt today, particularly as many people have reflected during the pandemic about their life choices and the importance of community support. I think the film itself and the collaborative approach really demonstrates the progressive, creative thinking that Coventry is known for.”

The film will be available to watch and share from midday 12th October on the ‘Foster for Coventry’ Facebook page, Instagram page and Twitter page. To keep up to date with news of the film, learn more about fostering and see previous films, visit the City Council website.

Coventry City Council