Foster carers ‘sign’ up to Foster Care Fortnight

Foster Carers at Child Action Northwest are learning British Sign Language with the aim of signing a message on social media to support the national campaign Foster Care Fortnight during 10 – 23 May 2021.


The theme for 2021 is #WhyWeCare.

Child Action Northwest (CANW), a local charity supporting over 10,000 children and young people every year, is proud to be supporting the Foster Care Fortnight campaign 2021.

Campaign host The Fostering Network found that the number of children in care in England rose from 65,520 in 2011 to more than 80,000 at the end of March 2020. Meaning every year thousands of new foster families are needed in England.

The theme for 2021 is #WhyWeCare. The Fostering Network is encouraging everyone who cares about the lives of children in care to tell the world about #WhyWeCare. Foster Carers at Child Action Northwest are intending to do this in a unique way!

Sue Cotton, CEO of CANW, said:
#WhyWeCare is close to the heart of everyone at Child Action Northwest. With more than 80.000 children in care across England it is more important than ever that they are able to find a foster family who cares and can support them in being happy and being children.”

During the last 15 months, as we have all been largely confined indoors, foster carers and the foster care team at CANW have worked even more closely together to ensure children and young people remain supported, connected and safe. Using Whatsapp groups, weekly informal catch ups, and lots of fun online sessions, the team organised a multitude of workshops for young people, ranging from: cooking, mindfulness, lego building etc. Seeing the positive impact these sessions have had on the younger generation spurred the foster carers to get in on the act too: making jewellery, or just having a cup of tea and a chat.

It emerged, during sessions, that foster carer Steph Bosson was proficient in British Sign Language (BSL). Inspired at a young age, she learnt sign language after an encounter at a bingo hall, where a deaf man failed to successfully communicate with a cashier and was left ignored in the queue. She is now using this skill to support a young person in foster care with sensory issues and is sharing her knowledge with other foster carers via Zoom sign language sessions! A great example of how our diverse group of foster carers bring and share skills and experience and support each other to change the lives of the children we support.

Steph Bosson, CANW Foster Carer said:
“I can hand on heart say this is the best decision I’ve ever made in becoming a Foster Carer with Child Action Northwest. Support from CANW has been truly amazing. I may be new to the game but I intend to stick with CANW for many many years to come, it’s a lovely family.”

Celebrating diversity

At Child Action Northwest, we pride ourselves on the close relationships between Social Workers, Support Staff and Foster Carers. We have a diverse range of Foster Carers to meet our children’s needs and we pride ourselves on celebrating the diversity we have across our team. We love to celebrate the achievements of our young people together as one team no matter how big or small.

Julie Dawkins, Head of Foster Care said:
“As the Registered Manager of the fostering service when I see month after month the names of hundreds of children requiring a safe family  for a night, a week, a month or forever…I want to be able to help!  I can only do that if we have foster carers available. I do hope that people come forward in 2021 and make fostering a career choice. Fostering changes lives.”


CANW foster carers who #FosterWithCANW have also taken to the camera to share their experiences and passion for the children and young people they support. Three videos will be shared across all social media platforms so people can hear directly from foster carers about how fostering has changed their lives and could change yours too. You can check them out here;

Facebook – @ChildActionNW

Twitter – @TeamCANW

Instagram – @child_action_northwest

Any individuals, couples or families interested in hearing more about fostering with CANW; please call our FREE phone number 0800 634 5300 or send a message below.