Developing a extensible Facebook marketing approach for foster carer acquisitions


Family Placement provide local foster placements for children across South and Central England. Local placement allows children to continue at existing schools, retain contact to friends and family so it is vitally important that Family Placement are able to recruit sufficient numbers of foster carers in target locations as and when demand dictates.




Exploration campaign for two catchment areas

Family Placement’s long term aim was to create a proven campaign model that would allow them to raise awareness and pique foster caring interest in specific locations and for specific periods. An initial Facebook Ads exploration campaign was planned to target two locations; Witney (Oxfordshire), historically a strong recruitment area for Family Placement, and Fleet (Hampshire), a more difficult area for recruitment.


To be able to recruit foster carers in regions, where and when the number of children requiring foster care outstrips the number of carers available.

What makes an ideal foster carer?

We’ve worked with Family Placement for a number of years and with their obvious passion for their work, they have imbued much of their audience knowledge on our team prior to the campaign. However, it was important to dig deeper beyond demographics and build a deeper understanding of what might motivate an individual or a couple to consider foster care, particularly if the thought isn’t front of mind at the moment we would engage with them.

What journey does a potential carer go on?

As foster care is both a practical and emotional decision it was important to consider the journey a potential carer might need to embark on before committing to a decision. Campaign 1 would take three established recruitment pathways, and look at the efficacy of Paid Social Ads to deliver on them. With Family Placement’s guidance we established that the 3 most effective means of recruiting the right carers are; 1) if they attend a local information meetup, 2) if they request an introduction information pack, 3) if they request a phone call (call back).

Planning and delivering campaign 1

As with all of our Social Media Campaigns, we kicked off the project with a collaborative ideation session. We explored personas and developed the messaging that we believed would have the right impact at the right time.

Two personas were fully developed; “empty nesters” parents whose own children may have grown up and moved out of home, and “experienced carers”, those that have worked in a child care profession.

The Facebook Ads campaign was rolled out over a 3 week period, using a full set of persona specific adverts. The campaign led a carefully targeted audience to bespoke, fully tracked localised landing pages, with a primary focus of signing up to a local meetup. The landing pages also carried secondary, softer goals of requesting call backs and information packs.

Turning exploration into a refined recruitment tool

The results from the exploration campaign uncovered a number of important learnings that were used to further develop the campaign model. Although audiences were engaged and highly receptive to the Facebook Ads, commitment was fragile, and commiting to a physical meetup in most cases proved too big an initial step.

However, secondary goals of call backs and information packs were particularly effective, with both acting as important introduction routes.

Using real life data

The exploration campaign allowed us to take real life campaign data rather than projected figures, and develop a flexible “blueprint” campaign that could be easily applied to any location.

Ongoing campaigns

The learnings from the exploration campaign were invaluable and have provided the evidential basis of a campaign framework that meets the initial goals. Subsequent campaigns now run using remodeled advertorial copy and landing pages, with a greater focus on gentle introduction into the foster caring world. By switching the goal focus and leading with call backs and information pack requests, Facebook Advertising is now acting as an effective recruitment tool for Family Placement in the locations that it is needed most.