Helping you recruit foster carers and adoptive parents

Cheshire West and Chester

cheshire advertProduction and implementation of fostering and adoption marketing strategies, new marketing materials and website, delivery of advertising campaigns and improvement of the recruitment process.
The challenge

The fostering and adoption service at Cheshire West and Chester Council lacked the resources inhouse to look after the promotion of fostering to the local community. Plus there was a concern that the recruitment process wasn’t working as efficiently as it should.

Consultation and strategy development

Initially I was asked to pull together a marketing strategy for fostering, create new promotional materials, develop a website and review the recruitment process.

Following indepth consultation with key stakeholders, senior managers, frontline staff and foster carers I devised a marketing strategy including advertising schedule and costs. Working with the council’s marketing and web teams I produced new literature and a website, writing all the content and organising the photography.

I also mapped and made improvements to the recruitment process including initial assessment earlier in the process and improved communication with candidates.

I was then asked to do the same for adoption.

Delivery of ongoing advertising campaign

With the strategy and process in place there was still no one available to deliver the advertising campaign as planned. So over the next four years I project-managed all advertising activity including press, outdoor, radio and online advertising. I worked with the fostering service, the press office and the local media to ensure a co-ordinated approach

  • full suite of marketing materials for both fostering and adoption
  • targeted materials to recruit foster carers for teenagers, siblings and long term
  • detailed marketing strategies for both fostering and adoption
  • press releases and editorial articles
  • project management of design, print and photography
  • tools to monitor applicants’ progress
  • tools to improve communications with candidates
  • successful advertising campaigns over four years.

Enquiries increased, as did the requests to proceed. The introduction of information evenings proved to be highly successful – generating positive feedback from attendees and staff. The service also has an enhanced recruitment process and increased monitoring and measurement tools.

Emma Harding provided excellent support to managers and social workers, taking proactive action in advising on changes in the recruitment process, creating new marketing material and implementing information evenings. I am extremely grateful to Emma for offering such valuable support and for her response to the council’s needs.

Lesley Goode, (former) Service Manager