Are you part of the LGBTQIA+ community? Could you be a foster carer?

Hounslow Council is seeking foster carers from the LGBTQIA+ community.

Published: Wednesday, 3rd November 2021

Image of a Portrait of a happy family embracing at home

Hounslow Council is reaching out to the LGBTQIA+ community in its campaign to encourage more people to consider becoming foster carers.

Hounslow is searching for foster carers from varied backgrounds who are willing to help children and young people in need, no matter their sexual orientation, race, gender identity, marital status, or background. The Council is hoping to recruit foster carers from all walks of life and supports the ethos that it’s your personal qualities that make you a great foster carer – not your gender or sexual orientation.

The Council is looking for a ‘fostering mindset’; empathy, patience, the ability to nurture, support and to provide a stable environment for a child or young person to help give the foster children of Hounslow a great start in life.

In the past decade, the contribution that LGBTQIA+ carers have made to the lives of thousands of children across the UK has been immense. Paul and his partner David have been fostering for nearly five years. The couple decided to foster because they wanted to make a difference to a child’s life and haven’t looked back since.

Paul said when they first started fostering, they were concerned that a foster child might view a same-gender couple negatively. He said: “We were concerned in case the foster children had any issues, but there weren’t any. We’ve talked to them about it and they have all been absolutely fine.

“We have learnt so much from fostering. Our foster children bring so much joy and energy into our lives. We put it off for a couple of years and I wish we hadn’t. If you are thinking of fostering, I would say go for it. Although fostering has its challenges, we don’t regret doing it. We’ve kept in touch with foster children who lived with us over the years and it’s great to see them growing up and becoming more confident.”

There are more than 12 million children living in the UK and just under 400,000 of them (3%) are in the care system at any given time, totalling over 80,000 children (source).

Cllr Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Youth Service, said: “The Council strongly believes that diversity should be reflected in Hounslow's fostering community, which consists of people from a wide range of backgrounds, including ethnicity, religion, gender identity and sexuality.  We live in a diverse borough, and we want to make foster care more accessible for everyone, as helping a child grow up in a safe and caring environment is one of the most enriching and rewarding decisions anyone can make."

“I want to emphasise that while many people wonder if they are the right fit to foster, the most important factor is the fact that they can provide a loving home where the child can thrive and do well in life. There are a lot of misconceptions around who can and cannot foster. If anyone is interested in fostering, I would encourage them to contact our fostering team.”

Hounslow’s Fostering Team would be pleased to hear from anyone who feels able to provide children with the care they need. If you believe that you can change a child's life by offering a safe, stable and nurturing environment, please visit: www.hounslow.gov.uk/fostering or call our Fostering Duty line on 0208 583 3426 or email fostering@hounslow.gov.uk

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