We had lots of questions surrounding fostering when we first started talking about it. However, being in a same sex relationship was never a question for either of us.
We joined a few online events with National Fostering Group and Fostering Solutions in Stafford directly, where we could listen to the advice of the recruitment advisor and have most of our questions answered. We took the plunge and asked for a call back. The recruitment advisor was lovely! I’ve always said if our experience with her wasn’t so positive we’re not sure if we would have succeeded in our journey. She was with us every step of the way! The process was a little daunting at first, but our assessing social worker soon broke down any barriers. We had honest conversations throughout and explored our relationship together even further. We knew at this point our lives were about to change, for the better.
We both had demanding jobs which we continued whilst going through the process, but we always knew that one of us would change depending on the needs of the children. Making sure you have a plan at the beginning will only help lessen your stress once your approved.
The assessment process
During our assessment we learned so much more about each other, some say its like having therapy sessions! Honestly, it wasn’t that bad. Being in a same sex relationship was never mentioned really, only the fact that we could use our own experience growing up to help the children we would look after in the future. Prejudice is unfortunately all around us whether that is based on the colour of your skin, disability, religion or sexual orientation. By having first hand experience of this we could use this experience in our assessment and training moving forward.
We have now been fostering just under a year and had children placed with us about 2 weeks after we passed panel. They are young teenagers now and I always remember a conversation right at the beginning. One of them told us “I tried being bisexual for about 3 weeks, well I thought it anyway” – We laughed but it was great to see them being able to open up and know that they can talk comfortably about their sexuality with us. There were no barriers and those experiences we had grown up with helped in that conversation.
There is always lots of support from different people, our friends, also in a same sex relationship are always there for us and they foster two younger children. We don’t see being in a same sex relationship as a barrier in anyway shape or form. We give the children the same love and attention that a heterosexual couple could give a child but ultimately, we learn from the children we have in our care, after all, they know themselves better than we know them!
Being part of Fostering Solutions also gives us Gold membership for the charity New Family Social which is led by LGBTQ+ adopters and foster carers. We can always draw upon their support should we ever feel the need.
Fostering is a positive journey for anyone to start and for us it was about changing the lives of the young people that came into our care. Being gay didn’t change that fact, we are treated the same as everyone else within our agency. Foster caring and your sexuality is not a barrier, its only a barrier if you make it.
How do you become a foster carer?
National Fostering Group provides fostering opportunities across all areas of the UK. To find out more or start your application, get in touch.