Now Foster, a social enterprise start-up aiming to provide a community-centric alternative to expensive adoption agencies, wanted to boost their numbers of interested foster carers by broadening the appeal of fostering to a wider profile of people.
With this in mind, we designed and built for them a website and digital “onboarding journey” for new foster carers to explore their options and register interest.
This work was strongly hypothesis-led, as colleagues had worked on similar projects before for Buckinghamshire Council, on both adoption and fostering. We quickly discovered transferable knowledge, such as:
- prospective foster carers thinking the criteria was more stringent than it actually was: only “angels” are accepted
- more people are eligible for fostering than they think
- making it possible to book an initial conversation online substantially boosted interest and, eventually, full applications
We helped them research, design and build a new onboarding experience for prospective foster carers, addressing common misconceptions and appealing to a much broader range of people.
A big part of this experience was a new website and case management tool, which we built using modern web technologies and released as open source.
The work was strongly hypothesis-led, inspired by earlier work we’d done on adoption in Buckinghamshire.
Now Foster are currently running a pilot in Newham, East London and a second phase is anticipated.