Foster Care Fortnight™ is The Fostering Network's annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering. It is also the UK's biggest foster carer recruitment campaign.
Foster Care Fortnight 2016 took place from Monday 16 to Sunday 29 May 2016. The theme was Time to Foster, Time to Care.
Thank you to everyone who supported the campaign through promotional events, online activity, media work, fundraising and - of course - finding out more about becoming a foster care.
Foster Care Fortnight 2017 will take place from Monday 8 to Sunday 21 May.
What is Foster Care Fortnight?
Foster Care Fortnight receives around 1,000 pieces of media coverage each year, and The Fostering Network is delighted to receive the backing of celebrities and politicians from across the UK who lend their support to our campaign.
The theme for this year's Foster Care Fortnight was Time to Foster, Time to Care - with the aim of spreading the message that for many prospective foster carers NOW is the time to care and NOW is the time to foster.
As part of Foster Care Fortnight, and the Time to Foster, Time to Care theme, we also made use of the statistic that every 20 minutes across the UK a child comes into care in need of a foster family. This means that during Foster Care Fortnight over 1,000 children needed a foster family. Of course, the exact figure will vary depending where you are, but regardless of where you are there is still a need for more foster families right across the UK.
How did people get involved in Foster Care Fortnight?
Spread the word
Existing foster carers, and their fostering services, talked to others about fostering - we often find that existing foster carers are the best advert for fostering. If you're not a foster carer already, perhaps now is the time for you to consider becoming one.
During Foster Care Fortnight we posted a range of blogs from foster carers, fostering services, and others involved in looking after fostered children and young people. All the blogs are worth reading, but three which especially stood out were:
Showed support through social media
- Hundreds of people (and a few animals!) downloaded the 'Every 20 minutes' placard (which was available in English and Welsh), and then shared their favourite 20 minutes of last year online.This highlighted the every 20 minute statistic and showed support for Foster Care Fortnight.
- Many more people changed their Twitter profile picture to the Foster Care Fortnight clock.
- Thousands of tweets were sent using #FCF2016, meaning over 13 million people had a Foster Care Fortnight tweet in their timelines
There are a number of ways people fundraised during Foster Care Fortnight:
- They joined us for a Foster Walk, a family friendly sponsored walk with fostering families, taking place across the UK.
- They found a fundraising idea in our 25 Ways to Fundraise sheet.
- They made a donation online or texted ‘FOST05 £10’ to 70070.
The Fostering Network, as well as our members, hosted events all across the UK - from foster carer recruitment events, to tax workshops; from the Northern Ireland Foster Care of the Year awards to a celebration of Foster Care Fortnight at the House of Lords, where Zoe Witherington (right) was presented with a president's award from The Fostering Network.
Could you foster?
Even though this year's Foster Care Fortnight is over, it's not too late to consider becoming a foster carer. Could you foster? Do you have the skills and qualities to be one of the thousands of people we need to come forward to foster? Do you have the skills and qualities fostering services are looking for? Find a fostering service near you to start your fostering journey.
Watch this film to find out the difference that foster carers can make to the lives of young people