Welcoming LGBT+ people to join our fostering agency
Focus Foster Care is a supportive and nurturing independent fostering agency. Our registered office is based at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire but we look after children from across the West and East Midlands and surrounding regions, with foster carers who live across these areas. We are excited about the opportunity to expand our existing team of dedicated foster carers who are committed to changing the lives of the children and young people they look after. Could this be you? To celebrate Pride month, we want to make members of the LGBT+ community aware that they are welcome to make an enquiry into joining out team of foster carers.
Love is love – LGBT+ individuals and same sex couples CAN foster.
There is currently a shortage of foster carers across the UK. Since the coronavirus pandemic, children’s charity Barnardo’s has reported a 44% increase in the amount of children being referred to foster care. Unfortunately, the number of people applying to be foster carers has dramatically decreased. Thousands of new carers are needed across the UK to ensure all children living away from their birth families can be placed in foster homes that are able to meet their individual needs. Children who come into foster care come from a diverse range of backgrounds and have different needs and therefore we need people who can rise to the different challenges fostering brings and to meet the diverse needs of the children we look after.
To be a foster carer in the UK a person must meet certain requirements. Foster carers need to be over the age of 21, preferably have some experience of looking after children, have a spare bedroom and have a driving licence or easy and reliable access to public transport. Foster carers come from all different backgrounds and our fostering agency encourage and welcome enquiries from members of the LGBT+ community. We welcome enquiries and applications from people who are single or in a relationship.
It is one of the many myths surrounding fostering that a person cannot foster if they are gay, lesbian or identify as transgender. Same sex couples and LGBT+ individuals can make exceptional foster carers and have the ability to be supportive and loving role models to the children they look after. Unfortunately, there is still a fear of discrimination and prejudice preventing people from coming forward and making enquiries into becoming foster carers.
At Focus Foster Care, potential applicants / carers are not discriminated against in any way. Our agency openly encourages people from all backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures and sexualities to make an initial telephone enquiry with us. Together, we then decide whether to proceed to an initial home visit before moving on to accepting applications and progressing to assessment. At Focus Foster Care, we pride ourselves on providing children with exceptional care given by our extraordinary foster carers and believe people from all walks of life have the ability to have a positive influence on a child’s life.
Our committed team works closely alongside several local children’s services and we are dedicated to providing children with a safe and loving home environment. The Focus team are eager to hear from LGBT+ people and same sex couples as we aim to help more children in need of foster homes, by growing our agency.
There are characteristics we look for in people hoping to become foster carers. It is important applicants are in a stable and secure position in their lives. A good foster carer is passionate about embracing the lives of children and helping young people to grow and achieve in a loving, caring and nurturing environment. To offer exceptional care to a vulnerable child, foster parents need to be good at listening, have the time and patience to try and understand what a child is going through and be committed to supporting children through difficult periods and experiences.
The fostering application and assessment process takes approximately six months from start to finish. The assessment process must be thorough and rigorous to ensure vulnerable children are placed into the most suitable households and the safest possible hands. One of our Social Workers will go through what to expect from the different stages of the assessment process during the initial home visit.
Fostering is not only about opening your home to children who need a safe and stable place to live. Foster carers must open their hearts too. Children need carers who are willing to love them, nurture them and who will support them in any way they can.
As pride month 2020 comes to an end, we want to encourage LGBT+ individuals and same sex couples with an interest in fostering to get in touch with us. Your enquiry is very much welcome with our agency.
If you have the room in not only your home but more importantly your heart for children in need, we look forward to talking to you about fostering with us.