We are both proud of the fact that so many committed foster carers come form the LGBTQ community. It makes us even happier that more people generally are realising what an important contribution the LGBTQ community can make in relation to fostering. And hopefully, even more, will now consider becoming foster carers. Christine and I have now been married for nearly six years. Our fostering journey began four years ago and one of the best things about it has been the chance to meet other foster carers. It feels like one big team effort with us all making such an important difference in the lives of a lot of vulnerable children and young people.
It still surprises us that a lot of people in the LGBTQ community think they are not allowed to foster. That’s completely not true. In fact, fostering agencies like Rainbow is making it clear they welcome LGBTQ applicants. It’s an important message – especially when there is such a shortage of foster carers across the country. My wife, Christine, works in Human Resources and I fill in working just a few hours a week in a local school helping to support literacy. I am the main foster carer, but Christine can support me doing this because she is able to work a set number of hours from home. As she has this flexibility, it all seems to work out well. I am a trained teacher – specialising originally in early years teaching – so literacy is a real passion of mine.
For the first-year year following our approval to foster, we had an emergency placement followed by a few short-term placements. During this year, I was also able to take advantage of a lot of interesting and varied training provided by Rainbow. The courses on providing care for children with complex needs were particularly interesting and valuable. And I made a few new friends which is another way that fostering can enrich your life.
Consider becoming a foster carer with Rainbow. Fostering offers financial security, the chance to work from home, people who foster have great flexibility in their lives and there is also the opportunity to build a professional career in fostering: study to become a therapeutic carer or specialise in foster care for sibling groups.
For the last three years, we have had a lively and intelligent twelve-year-old to look after. She was quite behind with her reading when she first arrived, so it has been joyful for me to have been able to give her the help she so badly needed to catch up. She is now an extremely confident reader and English is her favourite subject. Seeing her make such good progress has provided an object lesson for Chris and me in just what a difference we, as foster carers, have made. And go on making every day.
All our friends can see that we are a family with love, care and compassion at its heart. They see the commitment we have made and how it has changed not two but three lives. Christine and I can see we are giving LGBTQ people we know a real insight into fostering. A way of life and being a family, most would not usually come across. So, we like to see ourselves as ambassadors for foster care and the good it brings. In our circle, we know another couple who are now giving serious consideration to the idea. And if they go all the way, that would be great! They’ve asked us lots of questions – typically what makes a good foster carer and how can you know if it’s the right thing to do. After all, it’s such a massive responsibility. We always say that for us, its ultimately about knowing our commitment is, and always will be, unwavering. Being part of the LGBTQ community does give us access to a great network of support. It’s a comfort. And knowing it’s there has certainly helped us on occasions.
Fostering has given Christine and me a real goal in life. Could there be anything more personally rewarding than helping a young person find and develop their God-given talents? And then guide them to find their path in the world. We are so proud to have our special family and would be delighted to think we might be able to encourage more LGBTQ folk to become carers. – there’s certainly an urgent need.
Names and identities changed to protect privacy.
Rainbow is recruiting!
We would love to hear from members of the LGBTQ community. We have been actively supporting #PrideMonth on our social media. We know LGBTQ foster carers are amongst the most committed of all carers – with so much to offer. Foster care is a great career, fostering especially suits those looking for flexibility, variety and the opportunity to work from home. And still feel part of a wider team – all dedicated to doing their best for vulnerable children and young people. Call 0330 311 2845
New carers needed in London; Rainbow Fostering Birmingham; Rainbow Fostering Manchester and Rainbow Fostering Hampshire – contact one of our offices to start your fostering career today
The rules and guidance in relation to the coronavirus pandemic are changing – especially now the lockdown is slowly being eased. To make sure you and your family remain safe please visit – https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/coronavirus People considering fostering always have a great many questions: we recommend visiting our FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page – http://rainbowfostering.co.uk/frequent-asked-questions/ And for an interesting blog, we can recommend – http://rainbowfostering.co.uk/foster-awareness-art-autism/