A new ground-breaking short film has been released to highlight the urgent need for foster carers in Hertfordshire.
Childhood tells the story of Sophie and her younger brother Charlie – who find themselves in a very difficult home situation, without any adults to meet their needs.
However, their circumstances change when they receive support from foster care.
The film which is over three minutes long aims to show the effect neglect can have on children, particularly brothers and sisters who may be left at times to try and care for each other.
The project has been jointly funded and developed by 56 local authorities in England including Hertfordshire County Council, as part of a national effort to raise awareness of fostering.
Across Hertfordshire, there are currently 1,000 children living in care who are in need of a loving and supportive home.
The County Council hope the release of Childhood will encourage more people to come forward and register as foster carers.
Councillor Fiona Thomson, Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “There is a huge shortfall in foster carers across the country and I’m extremely proud that Hertfordshire has joined forces with other local authorities to highlight this urgent need.
“We are hoping this short film will highlight why foster care is so important, and how the determination and dedication of foster carers really do help to change lives.
“Anyone who fosters with Hertfordshire County Council will receive generous pay and allowances, local support and training.
“We already have amazing foster carers but urgently need more to come forward as we have many children still needing help.”
Chief Executive of The Fostering Network, Kevin Williams, added: “Foster carers are the bedrock of children’s social care; they are vital in our society and our young people rely on their care, dedication, passion and skills to support them when they need it most.
“Across the UK, around 9,265 more fostering families are needed, to make sure every child that can’t live with their own family gets the care they need.
“Currently, there are over 70,000 children living with almost 56,000 foster families in the UK, and the number of children coming into care keeps rising.”
Childhood is available to watch on Hertfordshire County Council’s YouTube channel.
If you are interested in fostering, please contact Hertfordshire’s recruitment team on 0800 917 0925 or for more information visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/fostering