Apparently up to 60 per cent of people in the UK are unaware that LGBT+ people can foster children!
National independent fostering provider, Five Rivers Child Care, is calling on the gay community to consider local fostering opportunities, after a damning report shared at the start of 2020 has shown a record number of children are in care.
According to Government statistics, there are currently 78,150 children in the care system across England and another 7,200 foster carers are needed to meet demand and provide loving homes to vulnerable children and young people.
Ahead of LGBT+ History Month, which aims to promote the visibility of the LGBT+ community throughout society, Five Rivers is challenging a common misconception that sexual orientation prevents gay, bi and trans people from fostering.
Over 60 per cent of people across the UK are unaware that gay couples or those from the LGBT+ community are eligible to foster.
If just one per cent of the LGBT+ became foster parents there’d be no children waiting for a home
Just 480 children were placed in foster care with LGBT+ families in 2014, yet charity New Family Social claims if just one per cent of the LGBT+ community was to foster, there would be no children waiting for a home.
Commenting on the need for more LGBT+ foster carers, Martin Leitch, Head of Fostering Operations at Five Rivers Child Care, said: “There’s a desperate need for more people to enter the fostering industry. With nearly 80,000 vulnerable young people in need of a safe home we want to challenge misconceptions that might prevent LGBT+ members from fostering.
“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 care system and provide role models from all walks of life. We have some amazing LGBT+ carers who are enriching children’s and young people’s lives every day and encourage anyone who would like to do the same to get in touch.”
People from all walks of life can become foster carers as long as they are over 21 years of age. This includes single people, co-habiting couples, same sex couples and people living in rented accommodation – the only requirement is a private bedroom for each foster child.