We at Plymouth City Council’s in house Fostering Service like many Local Authorities are in need of recruiting many new foster carers. Our Fostering Service has been on an exciting journey this past year looking at new ways of recruiting new foster carers. For this to happen we knew that most people like to hear from our approved foster carers and not just the team who would be supporting them. As part of our new recruitment campaign, we set up a day to film some of our approved foster carers so people can hear first-hand why they should become foster carers here in Plymouth.
We firstly would like to say a massive thank you to John Spreadbridge, Head of Facilities and Support Services at Plymouth Argyle and the rest of the team for allowing Plymouth City Council’s Fostering Service to use the venue for our filming day. John and the team made us very welcome and looked after us throughout the day. We are extremely grateful for their support and we have been welcomed back for any of our future events.
We are currently working alongside Whitespace Advertising who made this filming day possible. The filming day followed restrictions under government guidance for covid-19.
Following the room being ready we began the interviews with a few members of the Fostering Service. Sarah Hunt the new Service Manager was interviewed along with Claire Nicholls our Fostering Recruitments Advisor. The Team Manager for the Recruitment and Assessment Team, Emma Speakman also provided lots of information. This was a way for members of the public to meet some of the team and to also hear from them why making enquiries to become a foster carer was important and why we need many new foster carers.
After these interviews where completed, Jazmin Watts from Whitespace Advertising began interviewing some of our amazing in house foster carers. Jazmin made everyone feel at ease and comfortable. Jazmin was able to discuss with the foster carers questions that would be asked in the interview.
The questions asked considered “myth-busting”. Members of the public often have many questions around criteria for fostering when making contact through our recruitment line and we wanted to provide clarity for the website. As the day progressed and more foster carers were interviewed it was clear that everyone was enjoying the day and we were able to get some amazing footage of our foster carers, their responses and views on fostering for Plymouth. Like all foster carers, they are passionate about the care and support they provide and take their roles as foster carers seriously.
Some of our foster carers were not able to make the filming day but have provided written testimonials of their experiences as foster carers for Plymouth City Council. These will also be uploaded to our new website for everyone to see.
Later in the day Cllr Jemima Laing, Labour Councillor for Stoke Ward, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families provided her support. Cllr Laing is extremely passionate about our Children in Care and is a voice for all our children but also has huge admiration for all our foster carers and wanted to be part of our recruitment campaign.
Cllr Laing was interviewed and provided a real sense of how important our local community is to fostering and to come forward if they are in the slightest bit curious or interested in becoming foster carers. It is important to remember without our local community we would not be able to offer local foster families for our most vulnerable Plymouth children.
As the day was coming to an end the new Recruitment and Assessment Team arrived for photos. We feel it is really important that you know who we are as a team and who will be supporting you on your fostering journey. Plymouth Argyle FC promoted the team to have photos down by the football pitch and where the players sit. We were also lucky to have a photo with the people that made this day possible.
Becoming foster carers has so many rewards, and there is nothing better than being part of a child’s journey who is not able to be cared for within their own birth family. Being a foster carer, you help to nurture, educate and provide stability and guidance and offer a loving safe home to our children and young people. It is clear that without dedicated foster carers have a vital role in creating a warm care environment and conditions for children and young people in our care to flourish.
We recognise that becoming a foster carer is a “calling” and with all the messages taken from the filming day if you are interested and would like any information about becoming a foster carer we ask that you pick up the phone and call and speak to Claire Nicholls our Recruitment Advisor or someone else within our Recruitment Team. We can also put you in touch with many of our current in house carers for further conversations should you wish.
On a final note, we want to say a big thank you to Jack and Will from Really Good Media Company, everyone at Whitespace Advertising especially Jazmin Watts who was an amazing support on the day. Also thank you again to everyone at Plymouth Argyle FC for making this day happen along, Cllr Laing and most importantly our amazing in house foster carers.
We hope that you enjoy the videos and we hope that if you have any questions you pick up the phone and call us. For all those wanting to become foster carers, I hope to speak to you soon
Plymouth Fostering Service