According to new research over 60 percent of people in Britain are unaware that gay and bisexual men can become foster parents.
The worrying statistic shows that there’s a long way to go in order to normalise the idea that LGBT+ people can become foster parents.
Across the UK, around 60 percent of people were unaware that LGBT+ people are eligible to foster children.
According to Five Rivers Child Care, there are over 900 children and young people who need foster homes across London yet there are common misconceptions around who is eligible to foster, from age through to living circumstances and sexual orientation.
Over 60% of people across London and the UK as a whole are unaware that same-sex couples or those from the LGBT+ community are eligible to foster. A misconception Five Rivers Child Care is keen to eliminate this February, which marks LGBT History Month, in a bid to recruit more foster carers from currently underrepresented communities.
In addition to serious misconceptions surrounding LGBTQ rights to foster, a further 60 percent of people across the UK believe that those in rented accommodation are unable to foster, and 40 percent of us believe that those without their own children wouldn’t be allowed to be foster carers.
Commenting on the findings, Martin Leitch, Head of Fostering Operations at Five Rivers Child Care, said, “The findings from our recent research paint a massively outdated picture of the fostering industry but it highlights that more needs to be done to reach those within LGBTQ communities to tell them about the career opportunities available to them in fostering. And it’s not just a career, it’s a life choice. It’s deciding to change the life of a vulnerable young person that otherwise might not have a home or a family. It’s extremely important to have a diverse range of foster carers across the country to reflect the diverse nature of the children and young people entering the system and provide role models from all walks of life. We already have some fantastic carers from the LGBTQ community who are enriching children’s and young people’s lives on a daily basis.
“We want to make it common knowledge that anyone can foster, providing they have a spare room and they are over the age of 21. A foster carer is not determined by whether they own a house, or whether they’re married or have children. Single people, those in rented accommodation, those with disabilities and those from the LGBTQ community all have the opportunity to make great foster carers.”