This month is Pride Month, which is a great opportunity to highlight the growing need for Foster Carers from the LGBT community. If you are lesbian, gay, bi or transgender, you may be wondering if fostering is something you can do. A third of LGBT people think they will face some barriers when becoming a Foster Carer, despite some social workers saying that the specific experiences of most LGBT people can help to make them fantastic Foster Carers.
Subject to all the usual checks and processes, there is absolutely no reason why someone from the LGBT community cannot foster. Lesbian and gay people have been fostering children for several years and while it is true that you may occasionally face some prejudice, there are many examples of children growing up safely and happily with their LGBT Foster Carers.
Rolfe Pearce and his partner Alan Wood were presented with the Foster Carers of Distinction Award at the FosterTalk Foster Carer Awards. When sharing his thoughts, Rolfe said, “The award we received confirmed that it doesn’t matter who you are as long as you can offer a space in your home to help vulnerable children … We hope that this award will encourage more same sex couples to come forward as Foster Carers. You don’t need parental experience; you just need patience, understanding and love to make room in your life to care for a young person.”
In 2010, The Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge conducted interviews for Stonewall with 82 children who have lesbian, gay or bisexual parents to find out more about their experiences both at home and at school. The study shows that:
LGBT Foster Carers have so much to give. They understand being different in today’s society and being in care can feel the same. This means never giving up and always standing by the child. Each day is different but with passion, drive, support and encouragement, this is a career that lasts a lifetime and really makes a huge difference.