“This series will enable the public, media and policymakers to step inside residential childcare”

Watch our official trailer for ‘IN CARE’ short documentary series

Watch our trailer for ‘IN CARE’, an original documentary series about children’s homes

For some children and young people across the UK, home means something different. These are our society’s most vulnerable children, for whom a ‘normal family life’ isn’t possible for a wide range of reasons. They are small in numbers but in greater in need than any others in society.  They are the children our society has vowed never to leave behind, yet too often their journeys go unseen, their voices go unheard. The ‘forgotten sector’ of residential childcare professionals who provide their care is too often misunderstood and overlooked in policy. And instead of taking pride in our society’s pledge to give every child a safe and loving home, too many communities resent that children’s homes even exist.  Because they simply don’t know anything about them.

So, today we launch our official trailer for ‘IN CARE’ – an original new series of short documentaries that will shine a light on children’s homes, the young people who live in them and the staff who care for them.

Launching this March, IN CARE will invite society to step inside the world of residential childcare. To understand the children and young people who live in children’s homes, the care they need, the work involved, the transformative relationships that are built, and why residential childcare can no longer be seen as a ‘last resort’.

Mark Kerr, Interim CEO of the CHA said, 

” Distorted perceptions of residential childcare have led to a crisis in the workforce, contribute to community objections to the opening of much-needed new children’s homes, and most importantly, impact on the lives and well-being of vulnerable children and young people who are so often discriminated against. This series will enable the public, media and policymakers to step inside a range of children’s homes for the first time and hear first-hand the testimonies of care professionals, young people and care leavers, at a time where improved understanding of the sector is desperately needed.”

Filming in children’s homes is sensitive and many believe this is to be a key reason why awareness is so poor, media coverage so distorted and children and young people so often discriminated against in daily life and political policy. But The Children’s Homes Association is in a unique position to make storytelling possible to address this. In 2023, The CHA launched the first-ever national, sector-led recruitment campaign promoting careers in residential childcare, sharing the testimonies of real professionals in their settings. Film was at the heart of this campaign, which Mark Kerr says led to the idea to create the IN CARE documentary series. 

Dr Kerr said, “The series organically grew out of our filming project to create the first ever sector-led recruitment campaign promoting careers in residential childcare.  We ended up with such amazing, passionate narratives from residential practitioners and as we continued to build on that, our communications lead said ‘we must make a documentary series to reset the narrative about this sector’. An idea I initially thought impossible but thanks to our members and a lot of hard work will now be a reality.   The series will prove what is possible.  The next logical step for us is to work with a mainstream broadcaster now that we have provided insight and broken the silence. It’s been successfully done with social work, so why not children’s homes?’

The series will launch in March via social media channels.