Double font size
Dark contrast
ADHD friendly
Large cursor

A campaign to help recruit foster carers across Dorset.

Dorset Council

Dorset Council was facing a shortage of foster carers.

The need for quality foster carers had never been greater and they urgently needed help.

They asked us to develop a new visual identity for their fostering service, an overarching strategy for a foster carer recruitment campaign, a microsite for the fostering service and a campaign concept for them to roll out.

The Council had two objectives – to recruit 20 foster carers per year over the next two years and to make sure that young people were kept local to their schools, friends and birth families wherever possible.

A campaign to help recruit foster carers across Dorset.

Dorset Council

Project summary

  • Research and insights
  • Brand positioning
  • Brand development
  • Campaign strategy
  • Messaging development
  • Channel planning
  • Concept development
  • Copywriting
  • Audience testing
  • Graphic design
  • Website design and build
  • Paid search
  • Reporting and optimisation


We kicked off by holding focus groups with the Council’s existing foster carers to find out what motivated them. The group was exclusively female and over 35 years of age, and they all had birth children and were moved to give a child in care a home and a loving family. They collectively disliked the idea of fostering being a career.

We also carried out intensive desktop research of competitor organisations to understand their offering and marketing strategies to see what would set Dorset apart. The insight we drew from the research findings enabled us to develop a clear value proposition statement that focused on Dorset’s commitment to finding children loving and stable placements, close to home, where they can thrive.

We created a visual identity for the fostering service that used handwritten fonts and bright colours to make the daunting and emotionally complex subject of fostering accessible.

We developed a marketing strategy to promote the vision of a fostering service transforming the quality of its service for both carers and children. Our strategy sought to recruit and train new foster carers, find foster carers specifically for teenagers, and to recruit a more diverse community of foster carers to support children from different cultures.

For the foster carer recruitment campaign, we created the concept ‘fostering wins’ – which focused on how the small wins outweigh the bigger challenges in fostering. As our focus groups responded best to simple messaging and information that gave them a true insight into what to expect as a foster carer, our campaign content was in a friendly and helpful tone of voice that complimented the Council’s existing style.

The Council wanted to recruit at least 20 foster carers a year for the next two years. We forecast that our campaign would need to generate at least 400 enquiries over the next two years at a 10% conversion rate to meet this objective. To do this, we delivered a digital marketing campaign using Google Ads, social media, a dedicated microsite, and a campaign landing page with a downloadable information pack for applicants to find out more. We also created a campaign toolkit for the Council which provided dedicated assets for launching the new brand, including social media content and guidance on the strategy and messaging framework to run the campaign.

A woman teaching a young boy to read.
A young boy playing with playdough.


From December 2021 to July 2023, our Google Ads campaign has driven 75,189 impressions with 3,072 link clicks to the fostering microsite. This has so far resulted in 72 genuine enquiries from potential foster carers.

In the first year of the campaign, the Council recruited 21 approved foster carers who can provide loving homes for local children and young people in Dorset.


"We’ve had really positive feedback from our foster carers about the new recruitment campaign: it resonates strongly with the target audience and delivers exactly the emotional connection we wanted to achieve. I definitely recommend Eleven for their strategic and creative approach."

Head of Strategic Communications and Engagement

Dorset Council

Mock ups of the Instagram posts we designed on iPhones.
A young boy brushing his teeth with his father.
A young boy having his hair cut at the barbers.
A mock up of the campaign website we designed.
Mock ups of the messaging framework and campaign toolkit.
A mock up of the information pack we designed.
A mock up of the brand guidelines.