Having strong, consistent key messages is essential to the Fostering NSW Campaign's PR efforts. ACWA encourages agencies to incorporate the campaign key messages into all media materials, spokespeople talking points, internal and stakeholder communications.
Campaign Key Messages
The need for foster carers
These messages will be used to highlight the urgency for foster carers in NSW.
There’s an urgent need for foster carers in NSW
- In 2012 18,169 kids were in care in NSW, well up on the previous year’s figure of 16,740.
- In NSW, the number of children in out-of-home care increased 24 per cent between 2008 and 2012 – from 13,566 to 18,169.
- A total of 900 new foster carers are required in NSW over the next two years
- There is a strong need for more Aboriginal carers
New pools of foster carers are needed as traditional sources of foster care are under threat
- People are entering and staying in the workforce longer, so stay at home mums and empty nesters (traditionally strong foster carers) aren’t able to cover the need
- Current foster carers are ageing out of the system so new pools of younger carers are needed
- A diverse range of foster carers are needed for a diverse range of children and circumstances
- Foster carers are needed to provide a range of care from emergency and respite care, to short term, and longer term more permanent arrangements, including fostering to adopt.
There is a major change underway to how foster care is being provided
These messages will be used to highlight the major transition that is occurring in NSW from government to non-government provision of OOHC
- The NSW government is transitioning the provision of foster care to the NGO sector – to agencies that have a lot of experience working with carers and kids.
- A total of 1,804 children and young people were transitioned from Community Services to the care of a non-government agency from April 2012 to April 2013
- This shift is aimed at achieving the best possible outcomes for both the kids and the carers.
- The NGO sector is well placed to respond to changing circumstances and develop a foster care model suited for the 21st Century.
- There are 48 accredited non-government OOHC agencies across NSW. They range from large to small, newly established to very experienced, and include a number of Aboriginal agencies.
About the Fostering NSW campaign
These messages will be used when we talk about the campaign.
- For the first time in NSW, the non-government (NGO) sector is responsible for statewide foster care recruitment.
- The Fostering NSW campaign takes a modern approach by reaching prospective foster carers such as same sex couples, single adults and caring professionals.
- The campaign is seeking to recruit people who can provide high quality care for children and young people who cannot live with their birth parents at that time.
- The campaign is being run by The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA), the peak body for NSW non-government community service organisations delivering services to vulnerable children, young people and their families.
- ACWA is developing and executing an integrated campaign including advertising, public relations, social media and digital.
- In an Australian first, a dedicated online forum has been launched giving NSW residents the opportunity to connect directly with current foster carers and agencies in their local areas. This gives prospective carers the chance to gather up-to-date, relevant information directly from local people involved in foster care.
- The campaign has also launched of a revamped website (FosteringNSW.com.au) and an information hotline 1800 2 FOSTER (1800 236 783).
- Advertising and campaign resources appear across NSW online and in print
- Grassroots campaigns reach Aboriginal communities and people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds so children from those communities have a better chance of finding foster care within those communities, helping to maintain their heritage and culture
- ACWA has engaged dozens of stakeholders and agencies across NSW to partner in the campaign including AbSec, CREATE, and more than 40 foster care agencies throughout NSW
Call to action
These points will be used in media materials and talking points as the call to action for readers/viewers
- For more information on fostering in NSW go to FosteringNSW.com.au or call 1800 2 FOSTER (1800 236 783)
- Chat with foster carers in NSW via the Fostering NSW website Forum to learn first-hand what it’s like to open your heart to children in need
- Like and share the Fostering NSW Facebook page www.facebook.com/ACWAFosteringNSW
- Follow us on Twitter @FosteringNSW
Being a foster carer
These messages are used in consumer media materials and to brief spokespeople (including case studies) where we want the story to encourage people to seek more information on foster caring.
These messages are based on motivators to fostering and address some of the barriers.
- You’re in control of fostering. You select the right agency for you to partner with, and get support, guidance and training through them
- All carers receive support, training and an allowance to cover the child’s needs
- Carers are part of a team, working with the caseworker to support the child or young person to be the best they can be.
- There are a range of foster carers; some provide emergency or respite care for short periods of time, others provide long term care or care for groups of siblings
- Lots of people who may not have considered foster caring before are eligible today: same-sex, single or with a partner, with or without their own children, empty nesters
- By becoming a foster carer you can feel good knowing you are helping a child in need.
- You have what it takes to make a real difference to a child’s life.
- There’s a child in your community who needs your help. You can give something back to your community by becoming a foster carer and helping to raise this child within their community.
- Make your family home come alive again by fostering a child in need.
- You don’t have to have a lot of money, a big house, or higher education. All you need is to be able to provide a safe, stable, caring home and plenty of love and compassion.
- There are many types of foster care arrangements (including emergency, respite and short term care) that allow you to open your heart, help children in need, while fitting within your busy lifestyle.
- If you have a sense of love, parenting skills, stability and strong values, open your heart and home to a foster child in need.