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Fostering – The reality in sharp focus

A new film backed by Sandwell Children’s Trust talks about the challenges and rewards of fostering was launched this week.

The five-minute film ‘Truth Be Told’, was launched by 14 local authority and Children’s Trust fostering services from across the West and East Midlands, including Sandwell Children’s Trust, on Thursday 28 March, with a special screening at the Odeon cinema in Dudley.

Frances Craven, chief executive of Sandwell Children’s Trust said; “This is a really honest look at fostering. Life with children always has its challenges, it’s not always plain sailing, sometimes it can be really tough. And when you’re dealing with children who have been through real hardship, trauma or neglect then it can be harder still.

“We feel it’s important to tell the truth about fostering – the challenges as well as the rewards – while showing the difference that good foster carers can make to the future of the children they look after.”

‘Truth Be Told’ briefly but honestly captures the highs and lows of fostering. Life with children and young people is always full of challenges, but for those who have been through difficult life situations, the complexities and needs can be even more intense.

The film explores the world of teenager Carl and his carer and two young sisters, Toni and Leah cared for by a same-sex couple. This small snapshot into their lives gives a hint of their history and the reality of being a foster carer. But more importantly it looks at the great connection, personal progress and depth of love that can come when supporting someone through adversity. The fostering story may begin with a hello, but that’s just the beginning of a rich, complex and ultimately rewarding journey.

Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, who will be amongst the guest speakers at the launch of ‘Truth To Tell’ added; “Good foster carers can transform the lives of the children living with them. That’s something remarkable that is happening every day in thousands of homes across the UK.

Being a foster carer can be extremely rewarding when you see the difference that you are making, but it can also be incredibly challenging. This new film clearly shows both sides of fostering – the complexities and the joys – and it’s so important to do so in order to attract the right people with the relevant skills and experience to come forward to foster.

“This film demonstrates what a vital role foster carers play in the lives of children. There is a real need for more foster carers like those shown in the film, and I would urge anyone who is up for the challenge to pick up the phone today.”

This is the third film that the Midlands Regional Fostering Forum have produced to promote fostering and find new carers. While it features actors, the stories are based on the experiences of real foster carers in the Midlands. The two previous films, ‘Giants’ and ‘There Was A Boy’ were both shortlisted for West Midlands Regional Television Society awards.

Anyone interested in becoming a foster carer can find out more by calling Sandwell Children’s Trust on 0800 358 0899 or visiting our website www.sandwellchildrenstrust.org where you can find out more about our regular information events around Sandwell. To view the full film go to https://www.sandwellchildrenstrust.org/fostering/

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