Thursday, 19 January 2012

LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week Event 21st February 2012

Bristol City Council and North Somerset Council combine forces to recruit LGBT adopters, as first-ever LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week launches

Bristol City Council and North Somerset Council will be holding a joint LGBT information evening on Tuesday 21 February, from 6.00pm to 8.00pm at the Colston Hall in a bid to encourage potential gay adopters and foster carers to come forward.

The event will include talks from local LGBT adoptive and foster parents about their own experiences and give those interested information on how to start the process.

Events are being organised across the UK as part of the country’s first-ever LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week. It comes as gay adopters and foster carers are being hailed by social workers for their significant strengths in a survey commissioned by New Family Social, the LGBT network coordinating the week.

At a time when adoption figures are at a 10 year low, a new study shows lesbian and gay people often have the right mix of skills and experience to raise children who have been in care, and give them a great new start in life.

72% of social workers surveyed saw the “amount of energy and enthusiasm” LGBT adopters bring to the process as a significant strength. 76% saw “openness to difference, and supporting a child with a sense of difference” as equally important.

For a long time, LGBT people tended to be seen as a “last resort” when placing children. Now adoption and fostering agencies see them as having a key role to play in meeting the urgent need for more new homes for children in care.

The LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week is a recruitment campaign for prospective LGBT adopters and foster carers with 18 events around the UK hosted by local adoption and fostering agencies.

Hugh Thornbery, Strategic Director of Children’s Services at Action for Children, says "Over the years, our LGBT foster carers and adopters have helped to transform many children’s lives. We welcome more applications from LGBT foster carers and adopters; the main thing is that you are able to give children and young people the care and support they need to be happy and fulfilled.”

Andy Leary-May, Director of New Family Social, says: “More and more LGBT people are choosing adoption and fostering as a way to form a family, and we want prospective parents to see just how rewarding it can be, and how much advice and support is on offer from our huge community of families around the UK”.

Leary-May adds: “The fact that so many agencies want to recruit from the LGBT community show just how far things have come in the past 5 or 6 years. Social workers are becoming more aware of our strengths, and we are being treated more fairly, and are being matched with children more quickly”.

For more information about adoption or fostering, contact North Somerset Council on 01275 888 999 or Bristol City Council on 0117 353 4200. Alternatively visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/fostering or www.bristol.gov.uk/page/adoption.

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