The National Confidential Forum (the Forum) has this week launched its first Scotland-wide advertising campaign, ‘Shine A Light on Care’, with the support and guidance of care-experienced people.
The Forum exists to acknowledge and understand the experiences people have had in Scottish institutions as children, to record those experiences, and use them to give people a voice, to advocate for change, and ultimately make care better for children and young people now and in the future.
The campaign is aimed at increasing awareness of the Forum and encouraging people to get in touch and share their experience of growing up in care.
The Forum sought support from care experienced people by involving them in the campaign development process, including insight gathering and creative testing, as well as providing the voiceover to the TV advert. Care abuse survivor and campaigner, Helen Holland, endorses the campaign and encourages others to get in touch with the Forum as the voiceover for a 60-second advert that will run on STV and STV Player.
Helen Holland, care abuse survivor and campaigner said: “It’s important for organisations and the government to listen to those who have been in care. As children we were told no-one is interested, no-one cares, but by sharing experiences with the Forum, we can be heard, we can make a change to society for the better and we can make a difference to how children are looked after in care in the future.
“I believe survivors need something like this. It’s vital that people have choices. The Forum offers people a way of making their voice heard.”
Dr Rachel Happer (pictured) is a clinical psychologist and is Head of the National Confidential Forum. She said: “Our new campaign has been guided at every stage by those with lived experienced of care and those who have felt the benefit of breaking the silence and speaking with us. They have described the campaign as positive and motivating, so we really hope it resonates with other care-experienced people.
“Our aim is to listen to and truly understand the experiences people have had in care, without judgement. We want to give people a voice and use that to change things for the better. What we learn will be shared with government and the wider public through a national record and research findings, which will influence changes to policy and practice.
“We want more people to talk to us. We understand that it can be an extremely difficult decision for people to share their experience. We provide a fully supported process and our team is trained to help people make the right decision for them. I would urge others to think about sharing their experience of care. It could make a difference.”
The campaign includes TV, radio, print, outdoor and digital advertising.