Govt in PR push for foster carer recruits

Children’s minister Margaret Hodge has launched a major push to recruit more foster carers in a bid to address the UK’s shortage.

The campaign aims to provide more support and advice to current and potential foster carers and to help retain existing carers.

It will be run via the Department for Education and Skills (Dfes) and will help local authorities undertake their own PR activities by sending out publicity packs, which include lists of creative PR ideas, advice on running campaigns and artwork.

Activity on a national level includes expanding the national help-line support and creating a national award to recognise the role foster carers play. Good practice guidelines for the recruitment of foster carers have been published and a three-year grant is to be awarded to charity The Fostering Network to aid its campaigning and highlight the work of foster carers during Foster Care Fortnight in May.

Hodge told PRWeek: ‘Our drive to recruit more foster carers and our commitment to provide them with more support will mean that more children will get the care and stability they need.’

The Fostering Network estimates that approximately 8,000 more carers are needed in the UK and 6,100 in England.

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