Carer urges members of the LGBTQ+ community to find out about fostering

Encouraging the LGBTQ+ community to find out more about fostering

Tristham and Mark as part of Fostering and Adoption week

A foster carer is encouraging other members of the LGBTQ+ community to come forward and find out more about the different fostering roles.

Tristham is sharing his experiences about the fostering process which ultimately led him to look after an ‘amazing’ child who has come on leaps and bounds while in his care. 

His story is being shared by Leicestershire County Council as part of LGBTQ+ Fostering and Adoption Week (March 6-12).

Tristham, who has fostered along with his partner, Mark, said: “The LGBTQ+ is a small but growing community and it needs to be shared that it’s accepted and encouraged for members to be foster carers.

“We’re proud to say the child we have in our care is doing really well. The kid is amazing and a completely different person from when they first came to us.”

Speaking about the application process, he added: “The lady I spoke to was easy to talk to, she asked lots about my experience and background. It was really simple and easy - I had no problems. I remember logging in online and sending my details through, and I got a call only a few days later! 

“I didn’t expect it to be as in-depth as it was! In the sense of, it’s about finding out everything about you, speaking to employers, having a DBS check, etc, but it was all fine! 

“I have a fostering background, my parents fostered from when I was 17, so I have knowledge of fostering already, whereas my other half doesn’t have that experience.

“That’s why it’s great to be part of the foster carer groups, such as the locality groups that meet regularly, and the private Facebook groups for foster carers – they’re great places to share and find information. 

“For those thinking about fostering, I want to assure you, there’s nothing wrong with asking! Any information can be given to you to help support you in finding out more about fostering and if it would suit your lifestyle and experience.

“I do think that there’s a misconception that when you foster it has to be a long-term placement. When I speak to other people, I feel like they don’t know there are more options available, people need to know about the different ways they can foster, from respite - giving carers or relatives a break - to parent and child, and much more!”

With record numbers of looked-after children across the UK, and around 700 children and young people in Leicestershire alone, there’s never been a greater need for people to consider fostering.

Councillor Deborah Taylor, cabinet member of children and families said: “ We encourage diversity and inclusion and want to make the pool of available parents as wide as possible for the many children in our care in Leicestershire.  

“We recognise the ever-increasing need for more of the LGBTQ+ community to explore both fostering and adoption and are particularly encouraging the community to find out more."

- The county council’s fostering recruitment team will be popping their stall up at Fosse Park, during LGBTQ+ Fostering and Adoption Week, outside Holland and Barret, on Thursday 9 March, to talk to prospective foster carers, and are particularly encouraging those from the LGBTQ+ community to come and have a chat. 

For more information about becoming a foster carer, call Leicestershire County Council’s fostering recruitment team on 0116 305 0505, visit the Fostering Leicestershire website.

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