What is it?
The Keep Families Together campaign features a hard-hitting film that shows a child asking "Who would you choose for me?" and gives the viewer the choice faced by social workers when deciding whether a child should be placed with grandparents or an adoptive family. Depending on the choice the user makes, one of two different videos appears: in one, the child stays with her grandparents and experiences a happy childhood; in the other, she goes to live with adoptive parents and feels cut off from her biological family.
Where can you view it?
The video is available to view on the Grandparents Plus website and on YouTube. A special Twitter hashtag, #keepfamiliestogether, has been set up to promote the campaign and drive people to watch the video. The film is also being seeded on blogs, forums and websites associated with parents groups, carers and grandparents to raise awareness of the campaign.
How was it launched?
The campaign was launched on Wednesday at a conference that featured speakers from Grandparents Plus and the children’s minster Tim Loughton.
What else is happening?
The charity unveiled a new report at the launch, called Too Old to Care?. It is based on in-depth interviews with older grandparent carers and shows how older grandparents face prolonged legal battles, lack of support and financial hardship as they fight to care for their grandchildren. The report highlights evidence to show that adoption is not necessarily a permanent alternative for children, with rates of placement breakdown of between 10 and 50 per cent.
Who was behind it?
Tomorrow’s Child created the video and social media consultancy Hot Cherry promoted it online. DHA Communications handled the media relations activity.
Third Sector verdict:
The video is effective because it gives the viewer the chance to play the role of social worker, rather than sit passively and watch the film. It makes the viewer feel more engaged with the campaign and want to know the outcome of their choice. The video highlights the difficult decisions faced by social workers and does not shy away from the downsides of both choices, such as grandparents becoming ill. This makes it more realistic.