Cheshire East Council part of new collaborative fostering film
22 September 2023
‘Any Of Us’…because it really can be. That is 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 launched on Tuesday 26 September. It is the sixth film produced by a growing partnership of councils and children’s trusts to promote local authority fostering.
The ‘Any Of Us’ project will be the largest public sector fostering film collaboration yet, with over 80 participants, including Cheshire East Council, from Northumberland to Brighton and Liverpool to Kent.
Councillor Carol Bulman, lead member for children and families at Cheshire East Council, said: “First and foremost, this project is about giving our fostering service a high-quality film that highlights the fact that anyone who cares has the potential to become a foster carer.
“All councils have their own area where we want to recruit foster carers from, so it makes great business sense to collaborate to produce a film that communicates a universal message: We all need more people to step forward and become foster carers.
“That message is the same, from London to the Lake District – every town, city, and county – consider if you can offer a home to our most vulnerable children and young people.
“We really care about the work that we do. It’s all about giving children a 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 character’s stories are all interwoven with Chloe’s, as we see her journey into foster care.
The film has been produced by Reel TwentyFive and project managed by CAN Digital/Rachel Brown. 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 wide an 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.”
Sarah Thomas, chief executive of the Fostering Network says: “The Fostering Network has supported this project since the first collaborative film ‘Giants’ in 2017. It’s fantastic to see the fostering services work together to amplify their message to recruit much-needed foster carers. There’s currently a shortage of 6,000 fostering households in England, so films like this have a vital role to play in encouraging more people to become foster carers.
“A lot of people rightly praised the John Lewis fostering advert at Christmas time, as poignant and socially responsible and ‘All Of Us’ is right up there alongside it. Now it is our job to have it seen as widely as possible, so more people do take the first step and become the foster carers we need, right across England.”
The national launch of ‘Any Of Us’ will be held at the Everyman cinema in Birmingham on 26 September and council fostering services involved in the project will also be holding local launches around the country.
‘Any Of Us’ is the latest in a series of film collaborations that started in 2017 with ‘Giants’, which was supported by a small number of local authorities in the midlands and has now grown to a national project across England, reflecting the need to recruit more foster carers.
The film ‘Any Of Us’ can be viewed on the council’s YouTube channel from 12 noon on Tuesday 26 September.