With rising numbers of children entering the foster care system, Essex County Council needed to recruit at least 60 new foster carers every year. They approached PLMR Genesis to increase the number and quality of referrals from people interested in becoming a foster carer.
We researched barriers which can prevent people taking the first step toward fostering and counter them. Our campaign aimed to educate the public about what fostering entails and bust fostering myths. Fostering is a big commitment, so target audiences needed to be inspired and feel an emotional pull to trigger enquiries. This campaign was launched in Foster Care Fortnight, the UK’s biggest foster care awareness raising campaign with many other councils and independent fostering agencies competing for coverage.
We created emotive case studies and newsworthy PR to inform and inspire potential foster carers. We used dual perspectives of foster cares revealing how rewarding fostering can be, whilst foster care leavers described how their foster cares had changed their life.
The Foster Care Fortnight campaign reached an estimated audience of 19.6 million people via TV, radio, newspaper and online media outlets and social media. Enquiries about becoming a foster carer increased by 124% compared to the same period in 2019, as a direct result of the campaign. The success of the campaign led to further specialist campaigns, for example to foster children with disabilities.
We have full confidence in PLMR Genesis to deal sensitively with our foster carers. The blogs capture the essence of fostering and just how rewarding it is. PLMR Genesis is extremely skilled at getting the attention of journalists and we’ve been delighted with the coverage. The PR approach is clearly working and has contributed to the increase in our enquiries