SENSATIONAL CAMPAIGN YIELDS OVER 2700 NEW FOSTER PARENTS

SENSATIONAL CAMPAIGN YIELDS OVER 2700 NEW FOSTER PARENTS

CLIENT The Dutch Foster Care Association

Partner DEARDAN & Friends

Award Sabre Award

Pleegzorg Nederland, the Dutch Foster Care Association, sounds the alarm: there is a drastic shortage of foster parents. Our friends at DEARDAN & Friends developed a campaign concept and asked Bijl PR to get the start of the campaign some media buzz in earned media. Our goal: find 3,500 new foster parents.

STRATEGY AND APPROACH

Right before the start of ‘Foster Care Week’, we sent out a press release with numbers showing just how dangerous the foster parent shortage in the Netherlands really is. Every year, about 3,500 new foster parents are needed in order to make a good match and give children a new home. Last year, there was already a shortage of 1000 parents, while the number of children in foster care keeps growing, and the influx of new foster parents is steadily slowing down. We asked provinces to check these numbers at a local level as well, to demonstrate regional urgency. We invited the press to attend the kick-off of the campaign.

We kicked off the campaign during Foster Care Week with an eye-catching event promotion, created by DEARDAN & Friends. We invited the media to Utrecht Central Station, where we’ve installed a giant red box with a  child (actor) looking out from behind a window to try to establish contact with people passing by: a pervasive image to film or take pictures of. We also let two foster parents talk to the press: Esther Overweter (spokesperson Pleegzorg Nederland) and ambassador Gijs Staverman (DJ and foster parent).

EVERYONE CAN BE A FOSTER PARENT

In this campaign, we show how the lives for both children and foster parents are enriched by foster care, and that there are a lot of different ways to be a foster parent. Aunts, grandparents, single fathers, single mothers, gay couples and neighbours can all be foster parents too. We offer the press the possibility to interview people with experience in foster care.Staverman (radiomaker én pleegouder) beschikbaar om de pers te woord staan.

With this campaign, we wanted to change the way people think about foster care. There seemed to be this idea that a foster family should have the make-up of a traditional nuclear family: a man as the father, and a woman as the mother. But we wanted to make clear that everyone can become a foster parent. The attention it generated was enormous, it truly blew as away. Of course our main hope was that all of this would lead to more people applying as foster parents, and the initial results were very promising. In the end, we gained 2778 new foster parents in 2019, partly thanks to this campaign.

Janette Reukers
National spokesperson Pleegzorg Nederland

WIDESPREAD MEDIA ATTENTION

The campaign generates widespread attention for Open je Wereld, RTL Nieuws and NOS Journaal reports on it multiple times, as does Algemeen Dagblad, NRC, Telegraaf, regional newspapers, Radio 1 Journaal, BNR, 3FM, Linda, Jeugdjournaal, Hart van Nederland, Shownieuws, Beau, and multiple others.

The chemistry with Bijl PR was there from day one. We share the same ethos, commitment, and enthusiasm. Not only did Bijl ask the right questions, they came up with intelligent solutions and showed how much they cared. By connecting our campaign strategy and creativity to the insights and PR strength of Bijl PR, we gave foster care a spot on the social calendar . And we’re very proud of that!

Danny en Irene
DEARDAN & Friends

RESULTS

INFORMATION REQUESTS

10,300

NEW FOSTER PARENTS

2,778

NEW HOME FOR KIDS

700

MEDIA REACH

17.5 million

As a mother of two, this campaign is very near and dear to my heart. Winning the award was amazing, but what really counts was having been able to create a new home for so many children.

Marjoleine van Klaveren
Marjoleine van Klaveren
Consultant