At Rainbow fostering we are constantly striving to attract people’s interest in therapeutic foster care. So this week we will be supporting the concerted effort being made across the UK to reach out to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people – as well as couples to consider becoming foster carers.
This effort appreciates the extremely valuable contribution made by LGBT foster carers in making a difference to the lives of children. Rainbow have been supporting the cause of LGBT foster carers for a number of years. We are a gay friendly organisation and have number of LGBT carers. We recognise the valuable work done by ‘New Family Social’, the UK’s leading charity for LGBT adopters and foster carers.
We also appreciate that because many LGBT people have had negative experiences, they have overcome this by developing high levels of resilience. It is this particular quality that makes LGBT people such good candidates to train to deliver therapeutic foster care. To be able to demonstrate empathy, support and understanding when dealing with a child or young person who has undergone traumatic experiences is essential. LGBT people naturally tend to place great emphasis on the value of support as they have experienced its benefits. There are further details on the challenges and rewards of being able to parent therapeutically at the end of this piece.
This week, the charity is publishing ’10 Good Reasons’ as to why gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people should think about fostering. Tor Docherty, New Family Social chief executive, stated:
“This year we’re sharing ten good reasons why LGBT people should consider adopting and fostering – but there are many, many more. We’re delighted that the proportion of same-sex couples adopting in Wales rose to an all-time high last year – but there is still much work to be done to support and encourage LGBT people to adopt and foster, wherever they are in the UK.”
The reasons for thinking seriously about a career in foster care will be published during the awareness week on social media and range from improved post-adoption support, to keeping siblings together, (the reasons given by the campaign aim to help LGBT people to take their first steps into adoption and fostering.) Check out the hashtags #proud to foster or #proud to adopt
While 1 in 8 adoptions in Wales – and 1 in 10 adoptions in England – were to same-sex couples in 2017, 140 more adoptive families are needed currently in Wales and over 7,000 more foster carers needed across the United Kingdom.
Figures show that in 2017 there were some 72,670 ‘looked after’ children in England alone. This represented an increase of three percent as compared with 2016. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people now form a significant proportion of foster carers and adopters in Britain. Figures show that 1 in 8 adoptions in Wales and 1 in 10 adoptions in England in 2017 were to same-sex couples. The need for more foster carers and adopters in the UK remains pressing. In 2016, the campaign reached some thirty three million people.
The research shows there is work to be carried out
Unfortunately the research that is available shows consistently that LGBT people often expect to face discrimination during the foster care approval process – because of their sexual orientation.
At Rainbow the cornerstone of our ethos is to welcome all – regardless of sexual orientation, relationship status, ethnicity, religion or cultural background.
Rainbow provide intensive support for therapeutic foster carers: our ‘Turnaround’ Therapeutic Assessment Programme establishes where clinical input may be required. Placements are closely monitored by our specialist team and support is available day and night – all year round. Regular case meetings are held to monitor progress. A child who is recovering from traumatic experiences needs to be in a highly supportive home environment whilst receiving therapy. No two cases are alike, and so the amount of therapy needed will vary from child to child.
We also offer therapeutic foster carers the chance to obtain further qualifications to build their professional skills. And rates of pay are higher for therapeutic foster carers in recognition of the key role they play in the team.
And what can a therapeutic foster carer achieve?
Simply so much! As seen through the eyes of a vulnerable child who has been helped, to start to begin to enjoy friendships and feel a sense of self esteem – perhaps for the first time. A therapeutic foster carer can alter the course of a young life and put it back on the tracks. This is because receiving consistent understanding and support can enable a child to develop socially and then succeed with their education. And this can give them a future with real prospects. Can there be many things as rewarding as making that kind of difference?
News about foster care:
Leading foster care charity condemns stocktake
6th March, February 2018
The chief executive of The Fostering Network, Kevin Williams, has written to the Children’s Minister, Nadim Zahawi (more) http://bit.ly/2e8PrIK
Good news at the end of our Rainbow…thank you for the positive response to the support we are giving the LGBT Adoption & Fostering Awareness Week.