LGBTQ+ Adoption and Fostering Week is underway
Foster carers and adopters from Lancashire's LGBTQ+ community are backing a national campaign which encourages more people to consider fostering and adoption.
'1, 2, 3, or more?’ is the theme of LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering Week 2023, which runs until Sunday (12 March). With record numbers of looked-after children across the UK, there’s never been greater need for more LGBTQ+ people to consider adoption or fostering.
The 2023 campaign asks LGBTQ+ people to consider adopting or fostering single children or those in sibling groups. Research by the BBC in 2020 found that more than half of sibling groups in care are split up. In some cases, this is because the children need separate care. In others, it’s because of a lack of foster carers or adoptive parents who can care for siblings.
Now in its eleventh year, LGBTQ+ Adoption and Fostering Week is run by New Family Social, the network for LGBTQ+ adoptive and foster families. The annual campaign is supported locally by Lancashire County Council and Adoption Lancashire and Blackpool. It encourages more lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender+ people to consider adoption and fostering and celebrates the achievements of those who’ve already done so.
Kerry and Lisa, from East Lancashire, are foster carers for Lancashire County Council.
They said: "We have found the whole experience very rewarding.
"The difference in these children from them moving in to where they are now is astounding. They really have thrived from having a safe and loving home with us. Their education, health and personal growth has been very noticeable.
"If anyone is thinking of fostering, get in touch with Lancashire County Council and speak to someone who can answer your questions. They are with you every step of the way, from enquiring to getting your first placement."
Vicky Gent, chair of Adoption Lancashire and Blackpool, said: "It is vitally important that we find loving homes for all of the children that we care for.
"We are keen to welcome applications from people of any sexuality or gender.
"We're especially looking for adopters who will take brother and sister groups, or older children.
"It doesn't matter if you are married or have a partner either, we have lots of excellent single adopters.
"LGBTQ+ Adoption and Fostering Week just highlights that the adoption process includes everyone – having children can be for everyone."
Lancashire County Council is hosting a fostering information event today when people can come along and speak to the team from 10am-2pm. The Chat with a Carer event will be held at Rascals, Capital Trade Park, Unit 4.
Further details are available at https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/fostering/events/lgbtq-adoption-and-fostering-week-2023/.
Notes to editors
Notes to editors
Interviews with Kerry and Lisa are available. Please contact the media team via this email address to arrange.
Here are the quotes from the two councils which form the regional adoption agency:
County Councillor Cosima Towneley, cabinet member for Children and Families, said: "We need more people to come forward as foster carers or adoptive parents to provide stable and loving families for children and young people that can't live with their parents.
"This campaign is very important as we need to encourage more people from the LGBTQ+ community to consider fostering and adoption.
"It would be really worthwhile for more foster carers to provide loving home, so more sibling groups can be kept together and grow up making magical memories in the same home. Fostering is more than a job, it's a vocation and you could change a child's life.
"I hope Kerry and Lisa's story encourages more people to visit our fostering and adoption web pages, contact our teams or come to the events we're hosting to find out more."
Cllr Jim Hobson, Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, said: “We’re proud to support LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering Week 2023.
“We understand and value Blackpool’s diverse community, which is why we proactively welcome foster carers and adoptive parents from all walks of life.
“Whilst we have a dedicated community of adoptive parents and foster carers already, who do a great job of looking after local children in need, we need more people to join them.
“We value different experiences and life skills, and welcome people from across the community.
“If you would like to find out more then please contact our friendly team.”