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Recruiting the Next Generation of Foster Carers - meeting the increased demand on the system #ngfost
27 Apr 2012
Central London

The ever-increasing shortage of foster carers within the UK has been well publicised, but financial pressures mean local authorities and independent providers are still struggling to find the right methods to market and recruit new carers.

The shortage of foster carers creates significant financial and social pressures on agencies, such as limited placement options for children; the need to place children a long way from home; reduced expenditure on preventative services and the need to buy in foster care provision.

Online viewers of this one-day national conference will have the opportunity to explore best methods to attract new foster carers; improve conversion rates; assess return on investment and, most importantly, the tools needed to implement a successful campaign locally.

David Akinsanya, Campaigner and Broadcaster
Welcome and introduction from conference Chair

Robert Tapsfield, Chief Executive, The Fostering Network
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Tackling recruitment on a national scale

The journey so far: what foster carers and fostered children think
Wayne Kwenda, Lilac Project; Andy Hider, Foster Carer

Looking ahead to Foster Care Fortnight – utilising the increased media interest Panel discussion
Jackie Sanders, Head of Media & Campaigns, The Fostering Network; Harvey Gallagher, Chief Executive, Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers; Contribution from a local authority

Refreshments, networking and exhibitions
Andrew Walker, Creative Director, Periscope
Creating a brand identity to compete with local providers

Andy Pallas, Relationship and Contract Manager, The Adolescent and Children's Trust (TACT)
Participation: Utilising existing foster carers for word-of-mouth referrals

Steve Evans, Managing Director, Net Natives
New media as a cost-effective tool to recruit foster carers

Ceri Davies, Media Director, Davies Prince Media
Spending limited budgets wisely - the best advertising media for securing an ROI

Questions and discussion
Lunch, networking and exhibition
Roger Bullock, Social Research Unit, Dartington, and Editor, Adoption and Fostering
Creating secure placement: the retention of foster carers

Rachel Suthurst, Project Lead, You Can Foster campaign; North West Fostering Forum, and Marketing and PR Lead for Children, Schools and Families, Rochdale Borough Council
Improving conversion rates from initial enquiry to successful assessment

Harvey Gallagher, Chief Executive, Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers
Local authorities and independent providers working together to recruit foster carers

Caroline Matthews, Marketing Officer and Recruitment Champion, Northumberland County Council
The lower-cost resource: your local network of recruitment champions

Questions and discussion
Putting theory to practice

Refreshments, networking and exhibitions
Nicola Hill, Foster carer
Targeting resources: recruiting people from the LGBT community

Cllr Andrew Grant, Cabinet Member for Children, Learning and Skills, Northamptonshire County Council
Recruiting foster carers for older children

Savita De Sousa, Policy Consultant - Private Fostering & Black Minority Ethnic Issues, British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF)
Black and minority ethnic recruitment

Questions and discussion
Recruitment campaigns in practice

Close of conference