Plymouth City Council is backing a campaign which encourages people from the LGBTQ+ community to consider fostering or adoption.
LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week takes place from Monday 1 March until Sunday 7 March, and is run by New Family Social, the network for LGBT+ adoptive and foster families.
The annual campaign encourages more lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender+ people to consider adoption and fostering and celebrates the achievements of those who’ve already done so.
This year’s theme is Build Your Family with each day of the campaign dedicated to explaining a different part of the assessment and approval process.
The Council is constantly looking for Foster Carers from all walks of life to look after the rising number of children and young people in the care system, regardless of their identity, relationship status, children or race.
As a Fostering Service we have continued to recruit foster carers since the start of the COVID pandemic and throughout lockdown. We have managed to complete assessments virtually and face to face when this has been permitted.
We have successfully recruited LGBTQ+ Foster Carers over the years and most recently during the latest lockdown.
A & K became approved foster carers in December 2020, they said: “Being a gay couple, not everyone supported us in our decision to become foster carers- however, PCC did! It was difficult having the training and assessment all online as we missed the opportunity to meet other applicants and foster carers in person. After a lengthy and sometimes stressful process, we felt welcomed and supported into the fostering community and have continued with this feeling during our very first placement.”
J & B are experienced LGBT foster carers they said: “As a gay couple my partner and I decided to foster back in 2012 embarking on a journey of rigorous assessment with Plymouth City Council. They talked to my ex partners children, our family and carried out home visits including a health and safety audit with recommendations. The training was thorough and encouraging. Learning from other foster carers was sometimes shocking and heart breaking but never off putting. We have now provided respite for a number of children and each has been different. Welcoming a child into our home, making them feel safe, listening to their concerns, likes and dislikes and giving them time and attention has worked for us. Having grown in confidence we are now waiting to be assessed for a time limited placement. We would encourage anyone to foster if you are able to be supportive caring and have time to give a child.”
More LGBT adopters and foster carers are needed to provide loving, stable homes for children in Plymouth, particularly for older children and brothers and sisters. Nationally, one in six placements in England in 2020 were by LGBT foster carers and adopters.
Councillor Jemima Laing, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: “We need people from all different backgrounds who are able to offer stability, love and resourcefulness and who can help and support a child with whatever needs they may have. I understand there are a lot of myths around who can and can’t foster and most of the time these myths are not true so I would urge anyone to get in touch to find out more.”
Fostering is a way to make a real positive difference to a child’s life, providing children and young people with a stable and loving home and the support and encouragement they need to flourish and do well.
Fostering for Plymouth City Council offers full training, support and the opportunity to learn new skills as well as a financial allowance.