That’s the message of a powerful new fostering film – any of us can foster a child or young person, if you have the capacity to care.
‘Any Of Us’ will be the sixth film produced by a growing partnership of local councils and children’s trusts to promote local authority fostering. Having grown from a small Midlands consortium in 2017, the ‘Any Of Us’ project will be the largest public sector film collaboration yet, now with over 80 participants from Northumberland to Cambridge and Liverpool to Brighton.
Councillor Simon Hackett, Sandwell Council's Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education explains:
“Sandwell has been part of this project since the very first collaborative film ‘Giants’ in 2017 and the brilliant thing about this partnership is the determination that all the fostering services involved don’t have to settle for second best.
"A lot of people – rightly – praised the John Lewis fostering advert at Christmas time, as poignant and socially responsible and this film, ‘All Of Us’ is right up there alongside it.
"Anyone thinking about fostering can watch it on our new fostering website www.fostersandwell.co.uk It’s only three minutes long, but it’s a really powerful call to action.”
The national launch for ‘All Of Us’ will be at the Everyman cinema in Birmingham on Tuesday 26th September when the film will be premiered before launching around the country.
The Rt Hon Jacqui Smith, chair of Sandwell Children’s Trust, who will be speaking at the national premiere commented:
“First and foremost, it’s about giving our fostering service a high-quality film that highlights the universal truth that anyone who cares has the potential to become a foster carer. As we all have our own area, where the children we look after are from and where we want to recruit foster carers from, it makes great business sense to collaborate to produce a film that communicates a universal message: We all need more good people to step forward and become foster carers.
"That message is the same, from London to the Lake District – every town, every shire county – we need more people to step forward who can offer a home to our most vulnerable children & adults.
"That’s why we care about the work that we do. It’s all about giving children a second chance to thrive and become the best person they can be.”
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 – Ayesha going to the aid of a pedestrian after a minor road accident, Neil calming down an aggressive situation in a snooker club, and Marsha identifying a young person showing signs of distress and intervening with them at school. Different individuals in very different scenarios, but each in their own way showing the caring instinct that is fundamental to being a foster carer.
The film develops so that it becomes clear that one of these three everyday people will become the foster carer to Chloe. But which one of the three will be the one to make the difference? The main characters’ stories are all interwoven with Chloe’s, as we see her journey into fostering.
Project Director, Rachel Brown explains the thinking behind the film:
“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 wider 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 a with a fostering service that is dedicated to supporting local children and young people who need a nurturing, safe fostering home.”
‘Any Of Us’ is the latest in a series of film collaborations that started in 2017 with ‘Giants’ supported by 12 local authorities in the Midlands and has now grown to a nationwide project across England, reflecting the national need to recruit more foster carers.