LGBT+ and thinking of fostering...read on!
A fact-filled blog full of information for LGBT+ people who are considering fostering with Coventry Citry Council
Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT+) and thinking about fostering?
Are you lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT+) and considering fostering but think you can’t? Think again!
Here at Coventry City Council we positively welcome LGBT+ foster carers. You can be heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender because we do not focus on sexual orientation when we are making the decision to approve a foster carer.
LGBT+ foster carers (whether single or in relationships) are changing young people's lives every single day here in Coventry. What’s important is that you’re patient, compassionate and able to provide a safe, nurturing, supportive environment for a child or young person.
And the fostering team at Coventry City Council are here to support you every step of the way.
Did you know…
In 2016, 1 in 10 adoptions in England were to same-sex couples.
Three-quarters of social workers thought LGBT people’s openness to difference and ability to empathise with fostered children was a significant strength (New Family Social Survey 2011).
A third of LGBT people think they’ll face barriers to becoming a foster carer stemming from homophobia.
If just 1% of the LGBT+ population were to adopt or foster, there would no longer be any children waiting for a new home (New Family Social).
LGBT+ community are often more willing than heterosexual couples to consider adopting harder-to-place children such as those who are older, have special needs, or are in sibling groups.
Research shows that LGBT+ foster carers and adopters are more likely than heterosexual adopters to have come to fostering and adoption as their first choice.
Let’s tackle some myths about LGBT+
Myth: LGBT+ parents are not allowed to adopt or foster. Research by Action for Children revealed that 32% of LGBT+ people in the UK believe that being LGBT+ meant you cannot foster.
Fact: This is absolutely untrue! Coventry City Council positively welcomes applications from members of LGBT+ communities. Same-sex couples have had the legal right to adopt since 2002 and we have a number of foster carers and adopters from the LGBT+ community who we can buddy you up with if you feel that would help
Myth: Kids who are raised by LGBT+ parents will be subjected to teasing, harassment or bullying.
Fact: Research shows they are no more likely than other children to be ‘picked’ on. And, given that LGBT+ individuals often report experiences of lack of social acceptance, LGBT+ foster carers may be in a good position to help, advise and empathise should the situation occur. LGBT+ foster carers have so much to give, understanding how it feels to sometimes 'feel different' as children who are looked after often do- meaning there is more likely to be understanding and empathy; a link that other carers may not have.
Myth: LGBT+ people can not provide stable homes.
Fact: Studies by Cambridge University’s Centre for Family Research in 2014 suggest that same sex families are thriving. They scored particularly well in assessments of family relationships, parental wellbeing and child adjustment. Parent-child relationships are typically just as strong in same-sex couples as in heterosexual ones.
Myth: Children of LGBT+ couples are more likely to grow up to be LGBT+ themselves.
Fact: Research shows that the sexual orientation of the parents (whether heterosexual or LGBT+) has no impact on that of the children. Furthermore, children raised in LGBT families are more likely to be more tolerant of diversity and individuality which benefits everyone in society.
Myth: Children need a mum and a dad.
Fact: Children need a safe, stable, nurturing, supportive environment with love and care from parents or carers. It doesn't matter whether a child is raised by a mum and a dad, a single parent, or two mums or two dads (indeed there is a wealth of studies on how a lack of gender stereotyping in same sex households benefits children - but that is probably a deeper conversation for another time!) .
Myth: The fostering process takes longer when you are LGBT+.
Fact: The fostering process takes around 4-6 months and does explore lots of information about you, your partner (if you have one) and your life experiences to date- but rest-assured this is an experience shared by all prospective foster carers- we need to make sure that we have the right people looking after our wonderful, but vulnerable children and young people so a good assessment of strengths and training needs etc is required
Myth: I’m single and LGBT+ so I can’t foster.
Fact: Single foster carers are absolutely welcome whatever their sexual orientation. Read our blog on single carers for more information. We will explore the wider support network for anyone coming forward to foster to see who is there for you alongside our dedicated social worker we allocate to you, our friendly Coventry Foster Carer Assocation who run social and buddying services and our excellent training programme.
These myths are just that. Myths. They are simply not true or accurate. We would love to speak to you about fostering. It could change a child's life forever- and your own
Every child deserves a safe, nurturing, positive family. You could be the difference.
Support for LGBT+ foster carers
If you are in or around Coventry, LGBT+ and considering fostering please get in touch with us. You will be welcomed by us and New Family Social, we also have very close links with Coventry Pride who are happy to chat to anyone with any worries
All of our foster carers are members of New Family Social. They provide a safe social network for LGBT+ families along with lots of advice and support. This group run regular events to get LGBT+ adopters and foster carers together, including meet-ups, social events and the amazing annual summer camp. It's great to know that LGBT+ adopters and foster carers have the additional support and guidance from this helpful and friendly organisation with helplines, online materials and forums. If you are LGBT and thinking about fostering or adoption, then please visit their site and find out more about the support and networking on offer.
In Coventry we also have weekly meet-ups, monthly coffee mornings and a mix of smaller and bigger social events happening across the City, working closely with our ‘Foster Carer’s Association’. This is alongside the 24/7 support offered from by the supervising social worker and support team.
If you are interested in joining our fostering community or to find out more about fostering for Coventry City Council please call the team on 024 7683 2828 or complete our short form and we'll call you back.
- LGBT Adopt and Foster Week
- New Family Social
- Fostering as a single parent blog: http://www.coventry.gov.uk/blog/fostering/post/549/all-the-single-ladies-and-men-ever-thought-about-fostering
- Stonewall: The UK-wide lesbian, gay and bisexual charity, provides information about all aspects of parenting including adoption
- Coventry Pride