Joe Swash: Teens In Care | Preview (BBC One)
Over the years, Joe Swash’s magnetic personality has endeared him to millions of TV viewers, but now he is delving into something more serious, and more personal.
This documentary follows Joe as he explores the stories of teens in care over the age of 16, the largest-growing cohort in both child protection and care. His motivation to make this documentary is deeply personal. It’s an issue that is close to his and his family’s heart, as his Mum Kiffy has been a foster carer for over 15 years.
Joe wants to spend time with teens across the UK, who live in foster care, in residential children’s homes, and some who left at 18 and are trying to make it alone, to show what growing up as a teenager in care is really like.
His journey of discovery follows the long-awaited publication of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, which promises a ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the children’s social care system’. But can it really get to the root of the problems facing teens in care?
Through this experience, Joe also sees at first hand the work of foster carers and the army of frontline workers dedicated to helping teens in care, as he seeks to find out how some of the issues they encounter in the care system might be tackled better.
On the documentary, Joe Swash says: “I’m really thrilled to be making this documentary with the team at Firecracker for the BBC. Foster care is a subject really close to my heart as I grew up with foster siblings so it’s something I’m passionate about exploring. I’m really looking forward to meeting the young people in care and hearing their stories.’’
Nasfim Haque, BBC Commissioning Editor says: “I am delighted that Joe is bringing his voice to BBC One to explore the difficult issue of social care. Looking at questions such as why there are so many teens in care and what happens to them when they turn 18, I hope Joe can make some sense of this complex area.”
Kirsty Calvert-Ansari, Executive Producer at Firecracker Films, says: “The Firecracker team and I feel really privileged to be making this film about children living in care, and to work with Joe who brings real passion and warmth to this difficult subject. It’s such an important issue in UK, and right now seems an ever-important time to shine a light on the voices of those teens in care, against the backdrop of social services budgets slashed and the cost-of-living crisis.’’
Joe Swash: Teens In Care airs Tuesday 11th July on BBC One.