“And That’s a Wrap!”: Fostering NSW Says Farewell

ACWA’s Fostering NSW Recruitment and Retention of Foster Carers program finished up on June 30, after five years of working closely with, and on behalf of, the NGO sector to promote the positive norms of fostering to the general public and attract enquiries and applications from potential carers through its integrated multi-platform marketing campaign.

Before handing over the reins to the new My Forever Family NSW program, to be delivered by Adopt Change, it seemed fitting to invite a small number of sector colleagues to celebrate our collective achievements and review the Fostering NSW recruitment program’s performance against its awareness-raising objectives.

To this end, the Fostering NSW and broader ACWA team invited representatives of some of our most supportive agencies, those whom have helped guide and support the program over the years through participation in one of our reference or communications groups, to join us for a ‘Wrap-up’ afternoon tea with a cheeky glass of bubbly.

Following some opening remarks from Andrew McCallum on behalf of ACWA, Sharon Broady, Marketing Coordinator for the project, presented some campaign insights derived from website, enquiries, social media and PR data, as well as an analysis of responses to a recently conducted survey amongst enquirers. Attendees were then invited to provide feedback on aspects of the campaign that they had found to be particularly valuable from an agency perspective.

We were pleased that there was a general feeling that having a centralised statewide recruitment campaign had been beneficial to the sector, and that activities such as the provision of media liaison support, the creation of shareable content and resources such as recruitment videos, and access to our 41,000-strong Facebook community were highly valued by participating agencies.

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to share reflections on the last five years’ activities with our key sector colleagues. We all agreed that it had indeed been an amazing journey through which we had learned much and ‘grown together’.

Although it is disappointing to us that we will no longer have such a close link to the carer community, ACWA will continue to support children and families within the Permanency Support system through working collaboratively with agencies towards ever-better outcomes. We are proud of the strong relationships that have been developed through the Fostering NSW program and look forward to continuing them into the future.

Main photo: Nigel Lindsay (Wesley Mission), Liz Potten (ACWA), Padraig Dorrigan (ACWA), Colin Hesse (Stretch-A-Family) and Amanda McGill (Connecting Carers).

Below: Ghassan Noujaim (SSI), Louise Carson (MacKillop Family Services), Savita Sanderson (ACWA), Sue Madden (Anglicare), Caroline Jones (CareSouth), Sharon Broady (ACWA) and Mel Pearce (FACS).