Statewide Marketing Campaign

About the Campaign

The ACWA Foster Care Recruitment and Retention Project is made up of three components designed to complement each other – a public awareness campaign, run under the banner of Fostering NSW; sector development to support agency recruitment and retention practices; and a state-wide information and enquiry service incorporating the Fostering NSW website and the 1800 2 FOSTER number. The sector development aspect will see ACWA develop resources and training courses for agencies as well as provide the opportunity to share best practice.

Fostering NSW Campaign

This ongoing, state-wide public awareness campaign is designed to support the recruitment efforts of OOHC agencies by raising general awareness of foster care, encouraging people to ‘Open Your Heart’ and find out more about becoming a foster carer by visiting the Fostering NSW website or calling the 1800 number.

The main Campaign elements include:

  • Public Relations
  • Social Media
  • An interactive Foster Forum
  • Advertising (digital and limited printed)
  • An updated Fostering NSW website and 1800 number
  • Supporting activities including local carer information sessions and engagement activities

The Campaign is delivered through both traditional (broadcast, print and radio) and social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and YouTube).

The Campaign commenced with a launch at Parliament House in May 2013, followed by the release of a research paper on the “New Australian Family” highlighting the changing face of foster care. It included digital advertising and a full-page print ad in Sunday Life. The second wave featured a “foster song” entitled ‘Home is Where the Heart is” written by the Banton Brothers and performed by Veanka Howard.

Since then the campaign has been supported by a steady press office output, a robust social media strategy, strong creative collateral, and various PR events designed to reinforce the key messages and ensure the topic of foster care remains on the media agenda and in the public eye.

Campaign Target Groups

Specific groups are being targeted as part of the public awareness campaign. The primary target group is women aged between 30 and 50, because this group remains the main decision makers about foster care. Secondary targets include “empty nesters” (especially for short-term and respite care), same sex couples and caring professionals.

Carers from Aboriginal and CALD communities are also being sought through targeted media outreach, resource development, advertising and grassroots activities. 

Publicity Material and Press Office Activity

Publicity material and resources can be downloaded directly by agencies from the Publicity Toolkit area of ACWA’s Campaign microsite. This includes posters, flyers, calling cards and the original art files so that the creative material is available to everyone. ACWA has produced a Foster Care Recruitment Manual, including template letters and press releases, and is continuing to develop a number of digital assets for agency websites.

The public awareness campaign and PR activity aims to reach a statewide audience and hit national, state and local media. In order to maximise local coverage, template press releases relating to key campaign events will be made available to agencies and regional groups so they can be tailored for local circumstances before being sent directly to local media contacts.

Working Together

For the public awareness campaign to be successful, particularly at a local level, ACWA needs the support of out-of-home-care providers and regional groups.

It is crucial that the campaign is relevant and meeting local need, so ACWA is asking agencies to prioritise the type of carers they need to target and any regional hotspots where there is a desperate shortage. These priorities will help shape our PR plans so please feed it back. ACWA is also encouraging agencies to join forces regionally to support the campaign by sharing resources and planning joint activities such as information sessions and engagement activities.

How You Can Help

  • Case studies - we want to showcase the great work that carers do but need recommendations on who would be suitable. If you haven’t already suggested potential case studies, please give it some thought and call or email Sharon Broady
  • Brief staff – ensure your own staff and existing foster carers know what is planned and how they can help
  • Follow us – on Twitter @FosteringNSW and like the Fostering NSW Facebook page. You can also get updates about the campaign by liking the ACWA Facebook page
  • Planning – develop local strategies with other agencies in your area about how you intend to reach the carers you need
  • Promote the campaign through your internal communication channels
  • Make sure you are ready to respond promptly to enquiries from interested carers and that your agency details are up to date on the Fostering NSW website as well as your own.

How We Will Communicate With You

ACWA will continue to communicate with agencies throughout the campaign through regular campaign email updates, the campaign microsite (hosted on ACWA’s website), regular updates through ACWA Newsflash and ACWA News, briefings to ACWA’s sector-wide Media and Comms group, regional workshops and updates to RIGs. 

Key Campaign Contacts

Phone ACWA on (02) 9281 8822

Email enquiries should be directed to one of the following:

Project Coordination inc. Media Enquiries: Sharon Broady

Marketing & Fostering NSW Microsite: Sharon Broady

Aboriginal & CALD Stakeholder Liaison: TBA
Foster Forum & Social Media: Liz Potten

Fostering NSW Website & Resources: Savita Sanderson