Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Fostering NSW campaign?
Who is running the campaign?
What are the campaign aims and objectives?
How does the referral process work?
How will the aims and objectives be achieved?
How long will the campaign run for?
Are there target audiences?
Are there specific key messages that agencies should use?
Is there an official campaign launch?
What happens in the first wave activity?
What is planned for the second wave of activity?
What is planned for the third wave of activity?
What can agencies expect to see in the media?
Is social media being used as part of the campaign?
What's happening with the Fostering NSW website?
What is the Foster Forum?
How is the Forum moderated?
How will the campaign affect agencies?
What can agencies do at a local level?
How will agencies be told what's happening with the campaign?
What campaign resources will be provided for agencies?
Who should agencies contact if they have questions?
Where can agencies go to find out more information?
The Fostering NSW campaign is a public awareness campaign and one component of an overarching Foster Care Recruitment and Retention Project being delivered by ACWA. The other component is sector development.
The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) is running the campaign and has engaged advertising and marketing firm, Ogilvy Australia, to help deliver it.
The campaign is designed to support the recruitment efforts of out-of-home care agencies by raising general awareness of foster care, encouraging people to ‘Open Your Heart’ and find out more about becoming a foster carers by visiting the Fostering NSW website or calling the 1800 number.
Visitors to the website are invited to read the information, interact on the forum and review the information about agencies that provide foster care in their location. Visitors are encouraged to further their enquiries directly with an agency that they prefer.
An online enquiry form captures details of potential foster carers that Fostering NSW forwards to agencies in rotation, by area and based on the information that they have provided. View a comprehensive flow chart explanation of the FNSW Enquiry Referral Process.
The 1800 number provides an information and referral service to people interested in finding out more about becoming a foster carer. Carers are provided information about foster care as well as suitable agencies in their area. They may be put directly in touch with an agency staff member. Callers will also be sent an information booklet on foster care and contact details of provider agencies.
A high profile public awareness raising campaign has been planned to raise awareness of foster care and maximise all opportunities for publicity. The main campaign elements include:
- Public relations i.e. media stories and events
- Social media i.e. Facebook, twitter and you tube
- An interactive Foster Forum
- Advertising (digital online advertisements and limited print)
- An updated Fostering NSW website and 1800 number
- Supporting activities including local information sessions and engagement opportunities.
How long will the campaign run for?
The campaign will run for one year and has been split into three waves of activity. The first wave will start on 30 May 2013, the second in late August (timings to be confirmed) with the final wave being launched early in 2014.
Are there target audiences?
Specific groups will be targeted as part of the public awareness campaign. The primary target group is women aged between 30 and 50, with secondary target groups being “empty nesters” (especially for short-term and respite care), same sex couples and caring professionals.
Grassroots campaigns aimed at recruiting Aboriginal and CALD carers will commence during the second wave.
ACWA’s key messages can be found on the campaign micro-site, which is hosted on its website, and agencies are encouraged to use them as a point of reference when developing their own agency and regional campaigns.
Yes. The campaign will be jointly launched by the Minister for Family and Community Services, Pru Goward, and ACWA CEO, Andrew McCallum on 30 May 2013 at Parliament House. AbSec, CREATE, agency representatives and current foster carers have been invited to attend. The launch will also involve a press conference in order to generate further publicity.
The first wave of activity will kick-off with the Ministerial launch, where the campaign materials and the stories of a range of foster carers will be featured. The Foster Forum will also be launched on 30 May as well as the new look Fostering NSW website. A launch press release will be made available to agencies for use in their local media.
ACWA will also be release of a trend paper on the “New Australian Family” and the changing face of foster care in the first wave. The paper will highlight the changing face of foster care, the need for more carers and the diverse range of carers required. The trend paper is hoped to generate media interest and publicity for the campaign.
Digital on-line advertising and a full-page print ad in Sunday Life will also occur in the first wave.
The second wave is planned to start in late August and will feature a proposed “foster song”. It will also highlight activity being conducted as part of Foster Care Week.
ACWA is also planning to host a “voice of experience” event where potential carers will have the opportunity to speak directly to current foster carers via the 1800 call centre number.
This wave will also see targeted grassroots campaigns aimed at Aboriginal communities and culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD).
Further details about this phase will be communicated to agencies nearer to the time.
The final wave of activity is designed to reinforce the campaign’s key messages. Again, further details will be communicated to agencies nearer to the time.
Agencies have been helping ACWA to source carer case studies for use in the media during the campaign. You can expect to read, see and hear interviews with them in local and statewide media. You can also expect to see interviews with ACWA’s CEO and the Minister. ACWA is also encouraging agencies to engage with their own local media to publicise the campaign and the need for more carers.
Social and digital media is being fully utilised to not only publicise the campaign but also keep agencies informed of any campaign developments. The Fostering NSW Twitter and Facebook profiles will be used to compliment the PR activity and ensure the subject of foster care remains in the public eye. You can follow it on Twitter @fosteringnsw and like the Fostering NSW facebook page. ACWA will also use its own Facebook page to inform agencies of any new additions to the campaign micro-site, any general campaign updates and highlights, and as a platform for sharing best practice.
The Fostering NSW website has been revamped to make it more user friendly and ensure all the information it contains it relevant and up-to-date. The new-look website will be made “live” on campaign launch day.
The Foster Forum is hosted on the Fostering NSW website and is a place where prospective and current foster carers can ask questions and engage with other carers. It is a safe online environment that hosts a wealth of information on fostering and is a reliable resource. As well as providing a platform to engage with current carers, the forum will feature regular conversations threads that users will be encouraged to contribute to. Foster Forum Ambassadors, who are all current carers, will log on regularly to answer questions and comment on discussions. ACWA also has a panel of Content Experts it can call on to advise on legal and other more technical issues, such as the ongoing transition process in the sector.
ACWA staff will moderate the Foster Forum. Anyone will be able to view the Forum, but in order to join the conversation, individuals will need to create a user profile with a valid email address, and agree to our Terms & Conditions. This will give moderators the ability to delete any inappropriate posts, or warn and block malicious users. Confidentiality will be maintained for individuals through the creation of usernames and passwords, ACWA has also requested that no agencies or caseworkers be specifically named to avoid any inadvertent negative publicity.
It is hoped that the campaign will generate a higher volume of enquiries from potential foster carers. This is something that agencies need to be prepared for and ensure they have the necessary resources in place to respond to the demand. Agencies can also leverage off the campaign and the interest in foster care that it generates. Agencies should think about timing information sessions and about how they can use the publicity to really focus recruitment efforts to the desired target groups.
Help raise awareness of foster care and the need for more carers by putting up the campaign posters, handing out the flyers and ensuring there is information on your website and a click-through to the Foster Forum. Also think about new and novel ways to engage with the carers you need as well as hosting standard information sessions. There are tips on how to do this in ACWA’s Recruitment Manual, which can be found on the campaign micro-site. Agencies are also encouraged to combine recruitment efforts with other agencies in their region during the campaign waves.
Regular campaign updates are being circulated to key contacts within every agency and regional groups. These contain information about any new campaign developments, what agencies can expect to see and how they can help. The ACWA Facebook page will also point agencies to new campaign material and events. Agencies can also visit the Fostering NSW microsite which is hosted on the ACWA website.
Agencies can find a range of campaign collateral in a publicity toolkit posted on the campaign micro-site. This includes posters, flyers, calling cards and the original art files so that the creative material is available to everyone. Hard copies of the campaign posters, flyers and calling cards will also be distributed to agencies either by post or arranging collection or drop-off during the first wave of the campaign.
ACWA has produced a Foster Care Recruitment Manual, including template letters and press releases, and is also working to develop a number of digital assets for agency websites. In order to maximise local coverage, template press releases will also be distributed to agencies and regional groups so they can be tailored to suit local circumstances before being sent directly to local media contacts.
Overall campaign co-ordination and strategy questions should be directed to Kate Flannery. Anything to do with media liaison will be dealt with by Libby McCalman, questions about the Fostering NSW website should be directed to Lo-Shu Wen and Liz Potten will be picking up enquiries about the Foster Forum and Social Media. All their contact details can be found on the campaign micro-site.
Agencies should find all the information they need on the campaign micro-site which is hosted on ACWA’s website. If you have a question and can’t find the answer there, please let the relevant person at ACWA know. All three waves of activity will be supported by a steady press office output, a robust social media strategy, strong creative collateral, and various planned PR events to ensure the topic of foster care remains on the media agenda and in the public eye.