This week (2-8 March) marks the start of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Adoption and Fostering Week – this is a national awareness campaign run by New Family Social.
New Foster Carer Award winners, Mark Moorhouse and Nick Dennison from Bradford share their personal story of being foster carers.
Mark said: “We qualified as foster carers in June 2013. We were originally going to adopt but after doing our research we saw that there were many children in foster care looking for loving homes so we decided to go down the foster route to help more children along the way. We foster because we want to show children who have had difficulty early in their lives that there are people who care and want to help them.”
The process to become a foster carer was quite long but if you are available to assist in the assessment then it can be speeded up. The assessment is very intrusive but you eventually understand why all of the questions and checks are necessary.
We have had to make some lifestyle changes since becoming foster carers but if you had birth children of your own you would still have to make lifestyle changes. We both worked full time but found this difficult due to training and work commitments so I changed my hours to part time.
We have another placement now that needs a little more attention and is younger so I am completing my final week at work this week. There are other small changes that you need to make, such as not walking around in your underwear or a towel wrapped around you and locking bathroom doors. These are all things that we don’t often think about when you have lived with just you and your partner for so long.
Being a foster carer has had its ups and downs, it can feel defeative sometimes when things don’t seem to be going well but the good days most definitely outshine the bad days.
Our foster son did not have a problem being looked after by a same sex couple, he loved it. He was confused about his own sexuality when he came to live with us but we just allowed him to be who he wanted to be without any influence.
If you are thinking of fostering, my advice is to follow your heart. If you can give a young person a home and safety then do it, many people think the lgbt community won’t pass assessments but there isn’t any prejudice and we have never met any. Same sex or transgender people can give as much love and care to a person as anyone can…there isn’t any prejudice in love.”
If you are considering becoming a foster carer, call Fosterline on 0800 040 7675 for free confidential and impartial advice. Alternatively, visit thinking-of-fostering to find out more about fostering.