Gloucestershire County Council busts LGBT+ fostering myths
Gloucestershire County Council is encouraging LGBT+ people in the county to consider providing a loving and stable home for local children during LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week, which runs 4-10 March.
There are currently 683 children in care in Gloucestershire and there is a shortage of foster carers available to provide foster homes, from long term placements to respite care.
In England, the number of adoptions and fostering by same-sex couples is increasing but there are still lots of misconceptions around LGBT+ people’s eligibility. According to a YouGov survey, 8 in 10 lesbian, gay and bisexual people expect to face barriers if they apply to become foster parents.
The council are using this national awareness week to fight the myths surrounding LGBT+ fostering. Many people think that those from the LGBT+ community or those that don’t already have their own children are not allowed to foster.
Other myths include that you have to be in a relationship, be under the age of 40, and that you can’t work full-time.
A couple from Stroud who currently foster a teenage boy said, "Fostering can be an immensely rewarding experience, as it gives you the chance to help a young person lead a successful and fulfilling life. If you are considering fostering, then we would recommend making Gloucestershire County Council your first choice. You will be provided with support throughout the assessment process and whilst a young person is placed in your care. During your training, you will be given a realistic impression of what fostering involves, and the county council will try to ensure you are matched with a young person who will thrive in your household.
“Gloucestershire County Council welcomes people from all backgrounds, and the people we met on our initial training were very diverse. The young people who have been placed with us since we began fostering have been happy to be placed with a same-sex couple, and our sexuality has not been an issue."
Cllr Richard Boyles, cabinet member for children and young people at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “We know from experience that LGBT+ people often come to adoption and fostering with an open mind and real enthusiasm – it’s often their first choice for growing their family. Many children waiting to be adopted or fostered have had a very chaotic start to life, and we’ve seen them thrive with their new parents. We need people with stability, love and resourcefulness who can help a child with whatever needs they may have.”
If you are curious about how fostering works, are considering it for the future or have already decided you would like to foster – the council’s fostering team are holding a drop-in session on Friday 8 March 1.00pm – 4.00pm at Costa Coffee in St Oswald’s Retail Park in Gloucester. There is no need to book – just turn up for a chat!