The National Foster Care Association (NFCA) has appointed St Luke's and MediaVest to spearhead a £2 million campaign to recruit foster parents from a wider audience, including single people.
The initiative, funded by the Department of Health, aims to boost the number of foster carers as the emphasis on residential homes declines.
The Government is also keen to address the problem following continuing revelations about abuse in care homes.
St Luke's, which pitched against BMP DDB, will produce a TV, press and radio campaign in September. The work will not use shocking images about the current crises in the care industry, but will encourage new recruits by showing them the rewards involved.
A PR campaign breaks in June. A pitch is being handled by Agency Insight, which also handled the advertising and media pitches. MediaVest is understood to have pitched against New PHD.
Steve Annett, media and communications co-ordinator of the NFCA, said that a national campaign was needed as the advertising campaigns conducted by 150 local authorities were clearly not working. He added:
"The demand for a greater number of carers and more skilled carers is increasing as older children come out of residential care with more complex problems. But as well as increasing numbers, we need to change the misconception that carers have to be part of a conventional family. Single people and those without children are also eligible." The Association will also be seeking corporate sponsors to back the campaign.
St Luke's is understood to have clinched the account following extensive research into the area.