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More than 400 people took part in the New Family Social/Action for Children research for LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week.
Here are the results in summary (or you can read the full results here) :
Sexual orientation and gender identity are seen as barriers to becoming parents by one in three (36 per cent) [i] of LGBT people – rising to one in two (53 per cent) in Scotland, according to new research published by Action for Children and New Family Social.
The survey of 400 LGBT parents and people who are considering fostering and adoption in the UK, also reveals that one in four[ii] (25 per cent) were told that they should not be a parent – often by their own family.
The findings mark the launch of New Family Social’s LGBT Fostering and Adoption Week (3-9 March), supported by Action for Children, as the two charities partner to dispel the myths within the LGBT community and the general public. Other Action for Children research shows one in three (32 per cent) of the general UK population[iii] believe that being LGBT means you are unable to foster children.
Jacob Tas, interim chief executive of Action for Children, said: “Being a good parent has nothing to do with being gay or straight. Right now there are more than 6,000[iv] children waiting to be adopted and an urgent need to find 8,600[v]foster families. We run fostering and adoption services and help children achieve their dreams of having families.”
Tor Docherty, director of New Family Social said: “If just one per cent of the LGBT community adopt or foster, this could plug the gap and ensure every child in the country has a loving home.”
Joe Smith, 39, and Michael Blair, 47, from Kent[vi], adopted a three-year-old boy in 2012. “When we told our friends and family that we were going to adopt, quite a few of them were surprised and several actually commented saying ‘oh they are letting you have children’.
“We truly believed that we would be the last couple to get a child. This was completely incorrect and if we hadn’t researched further into adoption we would still be waiting to become Daddy Mike and Daddy Joe to Archie.”[vii]
The full results are published today in New Family Social’s brand new magazine and they can be viewed online here.
Many thanks to all those who took part in the survey.
TACT is delighted to support LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Adoption and Fostering Week from 3-9 March.
LGBT Fostering and Adoption week is promoted by New Family Social, which exists to assist members of the LGBT community become foster carers or adopters.
Recent research by New Family Social and Action for Children indicates that nearly one third of the general UK population believe that being gay means you are unable to become a foster carer. Additionally a quarter of LGBT people surveyed had been told that they should not be a parent.
TACT interim CEO David Bradley said;
“TACT has always welcomed people of all sexualities to become foster carers or adoptive parents. As a children’s charity, we know that it is the love and security of a new family that helps young people in care achieve their ambitions and potential. Whether you are in a relationship or single, we hope anyone thinking of fostering or adoption will take the opportunity of LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week to find out more ’
TACT foster carer Gary Shorter said;
‘Becoming a foster carer is the best and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. When you see the changes you can make to a young person’s life it’s great. We know that, because of what we’ve been able to offer, the young person will do better and have a more positive future than if we hadn’t been there. I find that living with a same sex couple, they also develop a very strong sense of tolerance and respect for diversity.’our
£22,000 - £27,500 p.a. + £ 3,299 London Weighting
Hither Green, London
35 hours per week
The Adolescent & Children’s Trust (TACT) is the UK’s largest charity provider of fostering and adoption services. Working in nine offices across England, Wales and Scotland, we are dedicated to providing creative, effective and outcome-focussed services for children, young people and families. We are also a campaigning children’s charity seeking to influence public policy affecting children in care across the UK.
We are looking for a graduate-level team player with previous fundraising experience to be responsible for co-ordinating TACT’s fundraising programme - raising money and increasing awareness of our work through individual donors and supporters, trusts and corporate sponsors.
This is an exceptional opportunity to help shape the fundraising capability of a major charity, and offers enormous scope for the right person. You will also receive a wide range of benefits including 31 days holiday, income protection, pension scheme, loyalty award, flexible working and much more.
An enhanced Disclosure & Baring Service clearance is required for this role which is undertaken by TACT after provisional offer is made.
For more information and to apply please visit http://www.prospect-us.co.uk/job/tact-159-1 or call 020 7691 1931 quoting reference: TACT-159-1
Closing date: NOON on Friday 28th March 2014.
Interviews: Thursday 17th April 2014.
FtSE Member News: Barnardo’s Calls On The Government To Extend Their Plans To Give All Children In Care The Choice Of ‘Staying Put’.
We have prepared a report about experiences of leaving care, please read"Someone to Care" report.
Whilst most parents would never feel like packing their grown-up children’s suitcases to make them move out, the most vulnerable children in the UK are expected to leave care and make their way in the adult world whilst they are still in their teens, Barnardo’s research has shown. A young care leaver from Liverpool described reaching their 18th birthday and feeling like they were being “kicked out” of their semi-supported lodgings.
The Government plans to fund foster children to stay home until they’re 21 under the ‘Staying Put’ Initiative is extremely positive but Barnardo’s is concerned the most vulnerable are still excluded. This is because the scheme doesn’t extend to children in other forms of care, including in children’s homes, hostels, in other placements, or those who can’t stay with their foster carer.
Sam Monaghan/Puja Darbari from Barnardo’s comments:
It’s scandalous that we consider the UK’s most vulnerable children ready to live on their own in their late teens, when most parents would never feel ready to ‘pack their children’s suitcases’.
The Government’s plans to allow children in foster care to ‘stay put’ will radically improve the start in adult life for many, but many thousands more of the most vulnerable still risk being left by the wayside.
We are calling on the Government to end the misery of living alone too young for vulnerable youngsters, by making sure that they have someone to care even after they have turned 18, through giving every single child in care the chance to ‘stay put’ until they’re 21”.
Barnardo’s recommends that care leavers’ lives can be improved by having regular, close contact with peers and with supportive adults. This includes having someone to talk to, someone to provide guidance and someone to provide practical advice on adult skills, such as budgeting.
If you want to find out how you can support Barnardo’s, visit Get Involved.
See our Care Leavers Experience at Barnardo's video on youtube.
FtSE Member News: Community Foster Care - Chief Executive Becky is a finalist in Women in Business Awards
The Chief Executive of Community Foster Care, Becky Pearson, is a finalist in the Gloucestershire Women in Business Awards 2014.
She has won a place in the Woman of the Year category of the competition which shines the spotlight on women who make a difference and celebrates those whose determination and success help to drive the local economy.
Becky joined Community Foster Care in 2007. Under her leadership, the independent agency has gone from strength to strength, tripling the number of children it cares for and winning a string of accolades.
The agency, based in Staunton, gained preferred provider status with most providers of foster care in the North West, South West and the West Midlands. It won two contracts for Emergency Placements with Gloucestershire, as well as accreditation for Parent & Child Assessment Placements.
In 2009 it became the first foster care charity to receive the Social Enterprise mark.
Its sister organisation, Community Family Care, was launched in 2012 to support families and shares its HQ in Hawthorns Lane, Staunton.
Becky began her career as a social worker and became a probation officer at the age of 27. She then moved into family placement. After gaining an MBA at the age of 40, she was appointed National Fostering Director of the Sedgemoor group before taking up the reins at CFC.
She is delighted with her nomination as Woman of the Year 2014 and paid tribute to the team who have supported her on CFC’s journey to success.
“My time at Community Foster Care has been hugely rewarding. We have achieved much and made a big difference to the lives of hundreds of children. That would not have been possible without truly dedicated staff, supportive trustees and absolutely fantastic carers,” she said.
A spokesperson for CFC’s trustees said: "Becky has led our organisation to a leadership position, enabling CFC to deliver the best to our carers and our looked-after children. She is an inspiration to our staff and carers. This recognition of her wisdom, energy and achievements is richly deserved."
The awards take place at a glittering ceremony at the Hatherley Manor Hotel near Gloucester on 20 March 2014.
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