More people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community are encouraged to provide loving, stable homes for children in Bristol, as part of LGBT+ Fostering and Adoption Week 2021 (1 to 7 March).
A free, virtual information event is being hosted by the Bristol City Council Fostering team on Monday 1 March via Zoom. Those interested can drop-in anytime between 10am and 11.30am to hear more about fostering, the application process and ask questions. To register a place, email email@example.com.
Councillor Helen Godwin, Cabinet Member for Women, Children and Homes, said: “We welcome people of any ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion or marital status to foster with us. It’s what you can offer a child or young person that counts. We are keen to encourage people from the LGBT+ community to consider fostering at any time, but now we need foster carers more than ever due to the pandemic.
“Fostering can be a long-term option for creating a family, with some school age children even finding their permanent home with our foster carers who go onto become their legal guardians. I encourage those interested in fostering to find out more by attending the virtual coffee morning on Monday.”
Alex, a foster carer in Bristol who identifies as LGBT+, said: “I'm glad I picked up the phone and called in several years ago. I did have worries about being LGBT+ and fostering, however in truth they were unfounded. Kids don't care, other fostering professionals don't care, and I know I bring a different perspective to my fostering. I also suspect the resilience I built up through being LGBT+ helps me tackle the more difficult days that come with fostering head on.
“If you're thinking of fostering and identify as LGBT+ my advice is to talk to others and ask questions, but also know that as a foster carer you'll be fully supported by other carers and staff. If you can offer a loving safe home, I encourage you to take that first step and give the fostering team a call. There is a great network of support out there to help you every step of the way.”
Now in its tenth year, LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week is organised by New Family Social, a charity that supports LGBT+ adopters and foster carers across the UK. Build Your Family – the campaign theme – helps LGBT+ people view the adoption and fostering assessment process in easy stages.
Tor Docherty, New Family Social Chief Executive, said: ‘Record numbers of LGBT+ people now adopt or foster. The urgent need for more to do so hasn’t disappeared in the pandemic. The assessment process can still take place, despite lockdown and restrictions. If you’re LGBT+ it’s as good a time as any to find out how you can build your family through adoption or fostering.’
Since the campaign started in 2012, the number of same-sex couples adopting reached 1 in 6 in England in 2020, a record in both its proportion and total figure. In the same period 10 per cent of adopters in Northern Ireland were same-sex couples.