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Documentary Film Directed by Foster Child

Merry Christmas to all our readers! Today, we’re giving all our foster carers the gift of feedback. The reason is simple: with their generosity, every carer makes a difference.

An ITV News report has covered the inspiring story of a young filmmaker who was motivated by his own journey as a child in care to document fostering experiences. In the four minute video, the talented teenager, Declan Rose, describes the film as “a golden opportunity to relay [his] life story”, explaining his life in care, and a bit about the homes he lived in.

The report describes it as a “candid film about one man’s journey through the care system”. Through the film, Rose recounts interviews with several of his former carers, having asked them “how they felt about [his] life in care, their views on the care system”, as well as a discussion with his birth mother, about whether she would have changed anything.

“On reflection, I am glad that I was put in care”, he explains. “Admittedly I experienced some hard times during those 13 years, but I wouldn’t change the bad, nor the good experiences I went through.” In light of this, he came to a realisation: that the the main points he wanted to focus on were “the positives of care”.

He also mentions several points that Cumbria, as a county, should build on:
• that it needs “more foster carers as opposed to more care homes”.
• that foster children have to “move around too much”.
• that there needs to be “more awareness about what foster caring actually is” in the wider community.

The report then visits the homes of two local foster carers, Graham and Katherine Lamb, of Longtown. When asked for their opinion of the documentary, they say that they’re thrilled: Katherine describes how encouraging it is “to see the positive side of the care system being portrayed, because so often in the media it’s the negative side that is publicised”.

She then describes what she has learned from the placements they’ve carried out: “You have to be a family made up of strong relationships, because for [foster] children coming into the home, they’re not used to family life, boundaries, routines, that kind of thing – it’s all about putting these structures in place for them, whilst making them feel secure and safe, enabling them to flourish and develop in their own way”.
The news report even mentions that positive acclaim for the film means it may be shown at national film festivals next year.

As a fostering agency, we’re delighted to see someone who has been through the system decide to reflect on his experiences, to give back in this way, raising the profile of fostering through film.

Like we said, the purpose of sharing this story with all our readers is feedback – for the incredible work our foster carers do, and this story is glowing reflection of their hard work.

Find out how you can help improve outcomes for children or young people in care, or get in touch with the team directly if you’re curious about foster caring. In the meantime, have a great Christmas everyone – give yourselves a pat on the back and let’s continue to do amazing work year after year.