The shortage of foster carers at the present time is well documented: over 9,000 new foster families are still needed this year. The number of ‘looked after youngsters’ reached a new high of 72,670. A thought provoking milestone that was reached in the twelve months leading up to March 2017. This was in fact the biggest annual rise of young people caught up in the care system in seven years. This equates to ninety youngsters ending up in care every day.
We need, very obviously, to draw upon all groups in society to meet the need for more foster carers. It has been well documented for some time that gay people can make outstanding foster carers. Because many have had a tough time, they often have high levels of resilience and can readily identify with the sense of being an outcast which afflicts children coming into care. This is particularly important as it means placements can be more stable. Consequently, most agencies and local authorities are redoubling their efforts to attract gay people.
It is important we reach out to all members of our LGBT communities: evidence has emerged from a recent report indicating social workers may be exhibiting signs of prejudice in relation to transgender adopters and foster carers. The report was commissioned by the Department for Education. It focused on transgender awareness as being “an area in need of development” throughout the social work profession. A new publication has been produced by CoramBAAF which has been conceived to help and support social workers to understand issues associated with transgender foster care. Four particular areas of practice are examined. These are recruitment and preparation, assessment, panel and post approval support.
Social workers: general guidance for recruiting transgender foster carers
Firstly, it is important to ensure the agency has solid policies and procedures in place to work effectively with transgender foster carers.
Finally, keep in mind that what is most important in relation to prospective foster carers is their potential and ability to parent.
Explore what a career in foster care could be like?
At Rainbow we accept applications whatever your race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. If you are a transgender person, we would like to hear from you and explain the process of making an application to foster and the support you will receive from us. We would like to welcome you as a valued member of our Team Rainbow.
Rainbow Fostering Services are now actively recruiting across London, Manchester and Birmingham. You can call us for an exploratory chat on 020 8427 3355 or 0330 311 2845 (Rainbow National Line).
Please consider exploring our website. There is plenty of general information about being a foster carer. We even have our own foster care news page to visit: https://bit.ly/2kJHpsO
All blogs written by Will Saunders: Rainbow Fostering – Content Management/Marketing