Foster carers come from a variety of backgrounds and all sorts of people foster, whatever their relationship status, sexual orientation, skin colour, cultural background or religious belief.
If you are lesbian, gay, bi or transgender, you may be wondering if fostering is something you can do. Well, the answer to this question is yes, you can!
Lesbian and Gay people have been fostering and adopting children for many years and while it is true that you may occasionally face prejudice from some quarters, there are many examples of children growing up safely and happily with LGBT foster carers.
What research says
In 2010, The Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge conducted interviews for Stonewall with 82 children and young people who have lesbian, gay or bisexual parents to learn more about their experiences both at home and at school. The study found that:
In 2013, research carried out for the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) by Cambridge University into adoptive families headed by same-sex couples painted a positive picture of relationships and wellbeing in these new families. The study suggests that families with gay fathers might be faring particularly well.
In-depth research into the experiences of adoptive families headed by same-sex couples suggests that children adopted by gay or lesbian couples are just as likely to thrive as those adopted by heterosexual couples. It also reveals that new families cope just as well as traditional families with the big challenges that come with taking on children who have had a poor start in life.
Support for LGBT foster carers
There are a number of organisations offering support to foster carers from the LGBT community including Fosterline, Stonewall, CoramBAAF Adoption & Fostering Academy and New Family Social.
New Family Social is a self-help membership organisation formed in 2007, out of a need for LGBT adopters and foster carers to support each other, and to give children the confidence of knowing other families like theirs.
NFS provides a safe social network for LGBT families along with lots of advice and support. If you are interested in pursuing a career as a foster carer, visit their website for in depth information about what is involved and what support is available to you.
Flying Colours is a member of NFS and welcomes applications from the LGBT community.
We have foster carers of every age and each has something to offer children. You need to be over the age of 21. There is no upper age limit as long as you are fit and healthy and have the time, energy and enthusiasm for children and their interests.
You don’t have to have any formal qualifications. By far the most important credential for becoming a foster carer is your ability to listen, to understand and to be able to provide a caring, stable environment for a child or young person.
If you are thinking of becoming a foster carer you will need
Willingness to learn from your own and other people’s experience and to attend regular training.
You do need to be available for a child or young person placed with you. You may need to attend meetings and appointments during the day. If you do work we expect you to have a lot of flexibility around this and to be available when needed during the day.
You don’t need to live in a mansion but you will need to have sufficient space for an additional family member including a spare room.
We are looking to recruit carers in Stoke, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Derby, the West Midlands and the Welsh borders.
Ask about Fostering today.
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