Fostering & Me with Lorraine Pascale

16th June 2014

In a new BBC documentary, Lorraine highlights the need for foster care in Britain today.

Fostering & Me with Lorraine Pascale is a one-off film looking at the realities of foster care in the UK, fronted by Lorraine who was herself a child in care.

Adopted at 18 months old and then fostered at eight, Lorraine believes that fostering “saved her life".

“I believe foster care is the Cinderella of the care world and there is far more emphasis put on adoption. I'm making this film to throw the spotlight on to fostering and hopefully encourage more people to consider it as an option,” explains Lorraine.

In Britain today, a child is placed in foster care every 22 minutes and the number needing homes continues to rise. Eight-thousand seven-hundred and fifty new foster families must be found across the UK over the next 12 months to avoid a real crisis. But, despite this urgency, fostering is still the poor relation of Children’s Services. Adoption often hits the headlines but only 5 per cent of all ‘looked after’ children actually end up being adopted.

In this one-hour documentary, Lorraine takes us into the world of fostering and provides an insider’s guide to foster care. As well as telling her own personal story and examining the impact of fostering on her life, Lorraine will also gain extraordinary access to the fostering process at a London local authority. Meeting with the social workers, care teams, children and young people currently being fostered, Lorraine will find out what it takes to be a foster carer, and what the children think of the system and care they receive.

Fostering & Me with Lorraine Pascale airs June 19th, BBC Two at 9pm.

James Grant

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Comments

  • Look forward to watching this. Fostering is the Cinderella of the care world but it shapes and makes people's lives. Everyone needs the loving care and support of a family. Good stuff Lorraine.

    • I was taken into care the minute I was born your programme was superb as I've also felt a bit lost ever since my mother was Greek dad Nigerian and also have had the wish I could disappear feeling most of my life

  • I knew u were having something special... I like ur program and now i like ur mission. ... And wish u can do so many good things aftee sharing ur experience. And encourage people to forter.

  • Does anyone know when the programme airs on TV, as I am thinking of being a foster carer.

    • Hi i am a foster carer for 13 yrs with barnardos, best job eva, its hard work at times but very rewarding

    • it airs 19th june bbc 2 9pm. i am from one of the families that fostered lorraine do watch.my mum enjoyed helping and caring for all the children in which stayed with us.i too am one of her foster children and she to went onto adopt me, lots of children need homes and we need more families to love them,please look into it so you can make a child happy and loved. gd luck

  • Really looking forward to this program. In the meantime anyone interested in fostering should visit fosterline.info a free government funded helpline for fostercarers and those interested in fostering. Call Fosterline on 0800 040 7675. Thank you Lorraine for raising the profile of fostering.

  • The only way to increase the amount of foster home in the UK. Is to abolish the ridiculous "1 child 1 bedroom" rule. I live in 3 double bedroom and could very easliy have 2 children sharing in my children large bderooms. but the local authority would allow it. Who in this economy has a "Spare bedroom". When I was fostered in the 80's we had to share bedrooms and whilst we did bicker and fight (normal sibling behavior) we learnt to share and get along. I can tell you ANY child would prefer to be with a family and share a room than be left in a childrens home

  • We have been waiting with great anticipation for the broadcast of this documentary. Fosterline are supporting Lorraine in her task to make more people aware of the need for more dedicated foster carers to support the needs of our looked after children. Fosterline will open it's online independent freephone advice line for 2 hours following the broadcast of "Fostering and Me" 19th June 21:00 offering support and guidance for anyone already fostering and thinking of fostering. For further information visit fosterline.info It is wonderful that Lorraine is highlighting the role of fostering, Thank you.

    • Many experienced foster carers, like my husband and I, have spare rooms to offer a child in need but are left empty because of red tape and total bureaucracy. It's very frustrating and disheartening. We are delighted however, that Lorraine has decided to champion this valuable work and as a looked after child myself, I know first hand what can be achieved with good care. Well done and thank you on behalf of all Foster Carers and their precious charges!

      • I agree with ur comments, I have fosters for the last 6 years, have 2 spare bedrooms but have only ever had one child, even when I have asked to foster more, and yes it is down to red tape, it baffles me when I know lots of people who foster and have spare rooms for months on end, then we hear that there's so many young people need fostering, things have to be changed.

  • Really looking forward to seeing this. I'm a foster carer and although it took me a while to decide and commit to this new way of life I am glad I did. I have no space for more children at present but I know of many foster carers with empty beds. These problems need to be addressed first before taking on more foster carers.

  • Hi Lorraine, my experience in the 60s of having two babies in the Mothers Hospital was great, it was NOT a hospital for destitute mothers then, both of my experiences there were in wards full of happily married mums, not only that I had a home birth for my 3rd child under the care of a Consultant there, it was run by the Salvation Army then but in the 70s was absorbed into the local NH S trust, not a destitute mum in sight, originally when it was founded it catered for them but that was many years previously.

  • Fantastic news that someone with a following will bring to light the problems of the fostering world and hopefully highlight what a fantastic job fostering can be. I myself was fostered and now work for a private fostering agency and am passionate about recruiting new carers with the love, skills and personality to care for some of the most vulnerable children in our society. Please visit littleacornsfostering.com for more information if you're from the eastern region. Great stuff.

  • Well done Lorraine on your mission, such a worthwhile cause.

    I too am black and was fostered with my sisters ass babies until we were adults apart from a couple of years with our birth mother. Our foster parents were also a wonderful white couple.

    Fostering also saved me and my sisters.

  • Fantastic programme!! Thank you for sharing your life with me!! Crying now but so proud of you.:-).xx

  • just loved the programme about fostering it made me cry - how brave Lorraine is facing the memories and difficult situations she had to deal with at a young age. I am too old to foster now but wished I had done something like that. Love Lorraine

  • Wonderful documentary, well done Lorraine! Thank you for sharing your very personal journey and helping to raise the profile of fostering and the sometimes difficult but very rewarding job that foster carers do. This will inevitably encourage more people to take the first step in becoming foster carers. Anyone wanting confidential, impartial advice or information on fostering can visit fosterline.info or ring Fosterline on 0800 040 7675

  • My brother was fostered as a baby when my mother separated from my father and I had to go into hospital. This was so my mother could be with me. This was so positive for all of us as 50 yes 50 years later the foster mother is still with us and has been granny to my two boys too, always treating us like her children. Such love for which we are eternally grateful.

  • Just finished watching. Lorraine: you are one brave girl and I thank you for sharing your story with us.

  • Really glad I watched this instead of the football - incredibly moving programme made so by the bravery and raw honesty from Lorraine and all the people who took part - really well made story which needs telling

  • Just finished watching your programme and I am I tears , I am In tears as I look after a 16 month old baby who I have had for 16 months and will be leaving me shortly I don't call them lac children I call them ES children because they are extremely special children who bring something VERY special to foster families and we are so very very lucky to be able to have these amazing children in our lives !!

  • Hi. I watched the program last night and thought it was brilliant. I work for a LA and totally understand the hard work that foster carers do. I appreciate all they do to help vulnerable children and I see first hand how these children thrive in foster care and how commited the foster carers are to work with the LA until the plan is made for the children to either return home or go on to adoption. Then I am there for the carers while they cry for the child who has left. Today foster carers create daily logs and photo albums so that if the child, as an adult wants to access their records, hopefully they will have a better experience than Lorraine, and have quality information available to help them. Well done Lorraine. You shared a difficult life experience which I am sure will help children who are in care.

  • What a beautiful documentary. I feel tearful having just watched it. Lorraine, I hope you have come to terms with the shocking things written in your file. Even as a baby you could see you were special. You looked sparky. The baby I am fostering will move on to a forever home next month. It makes me feel sad the way your foster mother felt. I just pray he has a happy life x

  • I've just watched your tv show and in still in tears. I'm a health visitor and I wish I could say things have hugely improved, but I don't think they have. I work with lots of amazing professionals and foster carers, people who are really committed to improving things for kids, and yet we're still failing these kids. Well done Lorraine for sharing your experience, be very proud of yourself for what you've achieved.

  • Lorraine, I saw your programme and thought how brave you were to tell your story. I havIe so much respect for you and I hope you go on to have a happy and successful life. You deserve it. X

  • I just wanted to say how much I felt for you when I watched this. I knew you at primary school, we shared the same birthday, and I just never knew what you went through, I know we were young and wouldn't have understood then but I just wanted you to know how sorry I was that I didn't know. I hope it's helped x

  • Hi Lorraine, we had a boy we fostered from 2months old until he was two years and eight months old. Our Story would reflect the failing of the system, and how both foster carers and child and in fact a whole family can be affected by decisions not in the interest of the foster child or the carers or there family. Feel free to contact me i think it would open up an awareness of how the system sometimes abuse all concerned, but i still agree with you fostering is a great thing when a positive comes from it and was very impressed with you and the program.

  • Just watched your very moving and brave programme. Your a a real star and deserve all your success.

  • Lorraine, wonderful, compelling viewing! Understated authentic and to the point. Allowing us to hear the musings of your troubled mother, will help more children than you know. I cried, as will everyone who watched it. I am childless and after watching this program, I know what to do with all that wasted love I have sitting inside of me. Finding Merion ..... any self restraint I had left, went out the window. Blubbed like a baby!!!

  • I have now watched your programme twice because I saved it for my daughter to watch as well (we are both fans of your cookery programmes). You are such a lovely lady (girl to me) and should be so proud of yourself for what you have achieved. You have been subjected to so many rejections. I cried when I watched (twice) and wanted to hug you and look after you! But you don't need me because you are doing quite ok on your own!!! You are magnificent and each day you get out of bed you must tell yourself that!!! Having said that, I'm going to find the Kleenex!!! Lots of Love!!!

  • Hi Ive just got round to watching Lorraine's fostering programme. Very brave, emotional and a great acknowledgement to the importance and value of Foster Carers and their supporters. I and my sister were fostered -I still aged 56 visit my Foster Parents who I owe so much. I would love to be an advocate for the potential of fostering having come through both residential and foster care more or less in tact ! Lets learn not to be too hard on our birth parents from more differcult circumstances which we might only begin to imagine. Lorraine shows this in abundance. Nice One. R x

  • Your programme left me sad for your experience, but happy for your success! You reminded me of my niece, who was born on 10 November 1972 at the Salvation Army Mother's Hospital in Lower Clapton. My sister was only 18 at the time and I was 8 1/2 and clearly remember visiting her after the baby was born. I grew up in Homerton and seeing footage of what looked like the Kingsmead Estate brought my childhood back to me. Keep up the good work (Promoting fostering and baking gorgeous cakes!)

  • Hi Lorraine, I got an application form yesterday to apply as a foster carer, by chance I saw your programme today, I was in tears twice in 20 minutes !! My parents were foster parents when I was young and I was in 2 minds, simply because they had to give the children back every evdning and it was very difficult but you have shown me how far fostering has come and thank you so much for helping me make my decisionx

  • This programme was brave in its honesty. thanks for sharing and I have never sent anything like this before but had to thank you for making this programme.

  • My mother was 17 when I was born in 1944 - Dad was 20. They were married and stayed together for 5 years while having 2 more daughters. When I was 5, one sister 3 and the other only 11 months, they split and we three ended up in a Children's Home for the next 13 years with involvement with only our mom and that was 9 years later when I was 14. I love that you shared your story - I will be 70 in November, married for 50 years in December and we have 2 daughters and 5 grandchildren and my sisters and I are closer than triplets! Hugs from the west coast of Canada

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