Food & Drink

Lambeth foster carers feature in BBC documentary as celebrity chef revisits her past

By Thomas Woods

The chequered early life of TV chef Lorraine Pascale will be dramatically revealed in a BBC documentary this week, shedding light on Lambeth’s childcare system.

Fostering and Me, to be shown on BBC Two on Thursday June 19, will chart the former model’s personal history, and highlight the impact that both fostering and adoption had on her life.

Lorraine, 41, seeks out foster carers, fostered children and social workers from Lambeth, the place of her youth. She enlists them to help put together an ‘insider’s guide’ to foster care in the UK today.

The author and broadcaster was first fostered after she had been given up at birth. She was then adopted at 18 months old and fostered again, aged eight, when her adoptive parents Roger and Audrey Woodward broke up.

By browsing social workers’ records, Lorraine discovers that when the Woodwards separated, Audrey began drinking heavily. Harrowingly, Lorraine became the target of Audrey’s anger, leading to her being placed on the ‘at-risk’ register.

Lorraine, who is the celebrity patron of The Adolescent and Children’s Trust,  hopes the documentary will raise awareness and inspire more families to open their doors to children in need of a home, tackling a growing crisis in the process. She said: “The film is about my experience in care and the impact fostering had on my life. But it is also an attempt to show how vital fostering is to the lives of so many young people today.

“There are thousands of children across the UK looking for homes, but there is a huge shortfall in the number of foster families. I hope the programme encourages more people to put themselves forward as potential foster parents.”

Councillor Jackie Meldrum, Lambeth Council Cabinet member for Children and Adult Services, said: “We were pleased to contribute to the programme and to show the good work our staff and foster carers do. We are all grateful that Lorraine has told her compelling personal story, and we hope that it will build greater awareness of fostering and adoption.”

Indeed Lorraine was able to meet people at every stage of the fostering process with the help of the council, social workers and foster carers to the children currently in care. Helen Charlesworth-May, Strategic Director of Commissioning also drew attention to the dearth of foster families and encouraged more people to come forward to fill the desperate need.

‘Fostering & Me’ with Lorraine Pascale, BBC Two at 9pm on Thursday June 19.

Photo courtesy of NuoveTecnologieDid, with thanks. 

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