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Faces of Fostering: Rankin helps us celebrate foster carer diversity

Monday 11 March 2024

The acclaimed photographer has taken portraits that capture the “diversity, compassion, and extraordinary individuals” who make a difference to young people’s lives.

Rankin photographing National Fostering Group Carers

Rankin directed the Faces of Fostering shoot at his studio in London in January 2024.

Rankin is known for his insightful portraits of royalty, politicians and A-list celebrities. He’s photographed the Queen and King Charles III, David Bowie, Idris Elba, Jodie Comer, Stormzy, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Emma Watson, Tony Blair, Hugh Grant…

Much to our delight, on a chilly day in London in January 2024, he photographed 17 of our foster carers. The result is a collection of remarkable and beautiful portraits that say so much about them and the role they have chosen.

This was a TOP SECRET photoshoot! Not even our foster carers knew until the last minute who’d be behind the camera. (With characteristic generosity, they’d volunteered for a ‘professional photoshoot experience’ in London to help us create awareness around fostering.)

Foster carer getting her hair and make up done at our National Fostering Group Rankin shot

Foster carers like Carole shared their stories with Rankin’s team while having their makeup, hair and wardrobe done.

What a brilliant day – a relaxed, fun photoshoot that couldn’t have gone better. Our carers felt comfortable and confident to be themselves in front of the camera, thanks to Rankin and his team. Many wrote to us afterwards and said how much they’d enjoyed the experience from start to finish.

He said: “This photo shoot was a celebration of diversity, compassion, and the extraordinary individuals who open their hearts to foster care.

“It was a joy to capture the essence of people from all walks of life, each sharing a common desire to make a difference in a child’s life. If you’re considering fostering, reach out to National Fostering Group – they will guide you through the process.”

National Fostering Group carers, sisters Nadia and Sadia

Foster carers like sisters Sadia and Nadia travelled to London from England, Scotland and Wales to take part.

Why fostering stories matter

Rankin’s portraits of National Fostering Group carers reveal who foster carers are, what they look like, and are helping to tell their stories. His photos show that foster carers come in all shapes, sizes, colours and ages. They come from all walks of life, cultures and backgrounds. They are people like you, your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues.

What they have in common is their desire to make a positive difference to a young person’s life. In fact, in our recent annual survey of our carers, a sense of commitment to making a difference to a young person’s life was the key motivator to being a foster carer.

Steve Christie, CEO of National Fostering Group, said: “What these striking images show is that there’s no such thing as a typical foster carer. Fostering really is for everyone, regardless of background, relationship status or circumstance.”

Why do these stories matter today? 230 children know.

It’s more important than ever to spotlight fostering as a career. Government figures show that, on average, 230 children come into the care system each day. To make matters worse, while the UK has more than 55,000 foster carers, this isn’t enough. Across the country, local councils in every area are struggling to find children a safe, loving home where they can thrive.

Steve added: “At a time when nearly 11,000 foster carers are urgently needed, it’s more important than ever that anyone and everyone who thinks they might like to foster comes forward.”

National Fostering Group carers James and Darren

All the carers who took part, like Darren and James, have fostered for years and made a lasting difference to scores of children.

You can help

Do you feel inspired by the stories of our Faces of Fostering carers? If you’ve been thinking about becoming a foster carer, request a call with an experienced Fostering Advisor, who can tell you anything and everything about fostering and answer your questions.

Our Can I Foster? quiz is brilliant for people who like to do their research beforehand. It uses a short series of questions to build better understanding of basic fostering criteria and your suitability – like having a spare room, owning pets and driving.

Fostering might not be for you – but do you know someone who you think would be a great foster carer? Point them in our direction.

If you’re a foster carer with one of our fostering agencies already, you might be eligible to claim a referral bonus!

Rankin on fostering

Find out if you could be a foster carer
Find out if you could be a foster carer
In a few simple questions, you’ll know if you’re suitable to apply to become a foster carer.