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Finding more foster carers

Key Assets is a not for profit organisation which operates as a non-government specialist foster care provider. They provide care for children and young people with high and complex needs. 

Young people come into foster care for many reasons – often because of family illness, relationship problems, family breakdown or a situation where their welfare is threatened. 

There is an ongoing need to find more carers to provide these young people with a safe home for a while or, in some cases, until they are old enough to live independently. However, finding appropriate homes for young people, especially those with complex needs, is an ongoing challenge. 

To recruit whānau to provide foster care we need to reach people who see the scale of the need, believe that things aren’t good enough for our young people, and believe that they can do something about it by providing a safe and loving home.

This campaign asks ‘Do you see what we see’ – illustrating what foster families see in the young people they support – and invites others to join them in providing loving homes.

Stories of relationships and aroha

Seeking to better understand potential foster families, we undertook insight gathering with existing Key Assets carers. We listened to their stories about providing care, and the relationships they have formed with the young people they support. 

Their stories showed that carers see the world differently. They see the scale of the need. They see that things are not good enough for our kids right now – and they see they can do something about it by providing a safe and loving home. They look at the ‘difficult’ behaviour of a child in need, and they see the love, patience, and determination that is required to make a difference.

Do you see what we see?

The stories we heard directly informed the new recruitment campaign, titled ‘Do you see what we see?’, which illustrates what foster families see in the young people they support – and invites others to join them in providing loving homes.

To draw out the strengths of both carers and young people in care, we created a fluid animation style that interrupts the way that foster care is currently seen. This allowed us to share personal stories, while protecting individual identities.

Animated realities

The recruitment campaign is housed in a centralised microsite, which contains three short animated video stories and audio clips from existing foster families about the realities of being a carer. A distinct hand drawn style, with a loose cell animation technique, was used to create a sense of instability felt by many young people in the care system, and also allows us to seamlessly flow from one narrative to another. 

Recognising the significance of the decision to become a carer, the campaign is shared via an ‘always on’ social media approach that reaches and retargets likely families, providing layers of information to help them in their consideration.

Depth of consideration

Knowing the depth of consideration needed to become a foster family, the impact of this work continues to be realised. The content that has been carefully crafted for the microsite, the messaging woven through the creative assets, and the ongoing refinement of media targeting is delivering enquiries from people with a genuine desire and commitment to making a difference in the lives of the young people that Key Assets support. 

As part of an international network, this work also drew attention from Key Assets in Ireland and Finland, with the campaign adapted slightly and rolled out in both countries. 

The campaign was also honored as both a public good and moving image category finalist at the 2020 Best Awards.