Affinity Fostering has always believed that foster carers should come from all walks of life, our foster community is made up of a fantastic diverse group of people. The most important thing they all have in common is that they can provide a loving, supportive and nurturing home to a child or young person in need. That, after all, is all any child could ever really wish for. We understand that they also want the latest phones and games consoles, to stay out late with their mates, and probably the unhealthiest food available in the supermarket but, deep down, they really just want to be cared for and looked after.
This month is Pride Month, a time when we can all celebrate the impact LGBTQ people have had on our world and recognise the long fight and journey towards liberation and equality. When we write our blogs, we research and do a lot of reading, so it was heart-wrenching to read a four year old article in The Guardian by David Hibbert about his journey to becoming an LGBT foster carer. The opening paragraph struck us the most, “Despite being in a long-term relationship, there was still a sense that if you were gay, certain options weren’t open to you, particularly having a family life and raising children.” The article was written fifteen years after the Children’s Act made it possible for same-sex couples (and unmarried heteronormative couples) to adopt.
David’s story is a positive one though. He and his partner are now foster carers and, at the time of the article’s publication, had successfully fostered eight children, creating a caring and fulfilling home for them and experiencing the joy of helping to shape and nurture young lives.
Being a fantastic foster carer has nothing to do with sexuality or gender identity. It doesn’t even matter if you are in a couple or live alone. What is important is the ability to see the potential in a child or young person and to have the desire to help them to reach it. In fact, being LGBTQ could provide you with the understanding and skills to be an amazing foster carer. Twenty years ago, The Fostering Network conducted a survey that found that “76 percent of social workers thought LGBT people’s openness to difference and ability to empathise with fostered children was a significant strength”.
Affinity Fostering pride ourselves in the diversity of our fostering family. We welcome people from all walks of life and backgrounds, all that’s important is that you have a spare room, are happy to undergo our extensive and supportive training programme, and who want to share their homes with a child to enable them to have the best possible start in life. Our team believes in equality, so everyone applying to join our dedicated team of carers is asked the same questions and treated in the same way.
If you, like David, are wondering what your options are for having a family life and raising children, we’d love to hear from you and support you in your journey to becoming a foster carer. Get in touch for a friendly chat!