I am not a robot

Connecting with
future foster carers

At a Glance:

Campaign: I Am Not A Robot

Client: Plymouth City Council

Goal: Increase applications for foster carers

Result: Applications doubled year-on-year for the same time period

Project details

In 2017, a handful of young people in foster care spent 20 days making a campaign that saved their local authority almost £1m, creating new care placements for 29 local children.


Interaction increases connection. It’s that simple. In collaboration with the young curators, we developed an interactive installation that saw visitors not just process the story they were being told, but feel it.

Using 50 robots that would sing and dance if you gave them the love and care they needed, visitors could practice their foster caring skills – reading them stories, virtually hugging them and showing their support through social media.

And once the robots were emotionally ready, applicants could come forward to foster them – taking them out into the world and sharing their experiences

The Facts and Figures

5 young curators

When it comes to work that has a real impact, the people who have lived experience are often the best placed to create it. Their true, authentic insight makes for the strongest campaigns.

10 weeks

During the installation’s run, approximately 8,000 people visited the gallery, with an additional 15,000 viewing it externally, through the gallery’s floor to ceiling windows. We recorded 3243 hugs through our interactive sensors helping our robots feel loved.

74,220 social media engagements

Tweeting messages of support. Posting pictures of their foster robots. Sharing, retweeting and following. I Am Not A Robot captured imaginations and garnered support from thousands of individuals across digital platforms, spreading the word and raising the profile of the campaign.

29 new foster carers

All this led to 29 foster care applications, 120% more than the average 13 applications the local authority receives in a 10 week period. If each applicant is approved and fosters just 1 child this year that would be at least 29 children having a suitable local authority-provided place, saving time and budget working with an independent foster care organisation.

Prominent press coverage

Local press and broadcast, digital and social. The installation was an event that the media was eager to cover.

“ “I’m very excited about what we can do and achieve going forward because I think it’s the start of something that is really important, not only for the fostering service and the wider public but also for the children in care that are looked after.” ”

Stuart Davis, marketing and recruitment officer, Plymouth City Council