Industry News: Call for more LGBT people in the UK to foster or adopt on tenth anniversary of law change
More LGBT adopters and foster carers are needed across the UK, on the tenth anniversary of the law changing to protect same-sex couples from discrimination when adopting. Although adoptions by same-sex couples accounted for 1 in 12 of all adoptions in England in 2015, there’s an urgent need for 9,000 more fostering households across the UK this year. There’s also an ongoing shortage of adoptive parents, with twice as many children awaiting adoption in Scotland as there are approved adopters.
A series of events are planned across the UK from 7 March, as part of LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week. Organised by agencies that welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans applicants, these events are for potential parents to find out more about what the processes involve. There are also two key seminars taking place in Manchester and central London, where LGBT people who do adopt and foster will speak and answer questions on their parenting journey.
Now in its fifth year, the week is organised by New Family Social, a charity that supports LGBT adopters and foster carers. Tor Docherty, New Family Social Chief Executive, said: ‘LGBT people can and do successfully adopt and foster. If you’re LGBT and keen to parent then there are agencies keen to support you. You may already have just the skills needed to parent a particular child or sibling group and these information events are a fantastic way to explore the options you have.’
A TACT art workshop for children in care in Powys, run by TACT Cymru, has attracted the support of a leading international supplier of art materials – ColArt, thanks to a former foster child.
Leanne Ellis, lived with a foster family 20 years ago and is now a successful artist and a Product Demonstrator for Winsor & Newton – one of ColArt’s brands. To show her appreciation for the life changing support she gained from her foster family she asked ColArt to donate materials for the art club, which it willingly did.
Leanne said: “I am very happy that I have got ColArt’s support. When I was asked by TACT to do the workshop for the children in their care I remembered my days in care and remembered how my music, crafts and arts saw me through some very difficult periods of my life. ColArt is all about inspiring creative interest and talent and thought that this would be a great opportunity for the children.”
Leanne will be running the first TACT workshop to use ColArt’s donated materials today – Wednesday, 17 February, in the Newtown, Powys.
Liza Kindon, ColArt Kidderminster Sustainability Group Leader said: “We are committed to supporting local causes and this is a fantastic initiative to bring art to children in care, making art available to everyone is our passion.”
Mark Barratt, Chief Operations Officer and ColArt ambassador for this initiative is equally passionate about making ColArt’s products available and particularly to youngsters who may not have the same opportunities as most.
Mark said: “As the leading art supplier, ColArt is delighted to embrace this innovative scheme to help children explore and discover their artistic passions, whatever level that may be, but most of all we are happy to bring some fun into their lives.”
Stephen Humphrys, TACT Cymru Deputy Area Manager said: “I’m delighted that Colart is supporting our art group in Newtown. It will provide an exciting opportunity for our young people to further develop their talents.”
The materials that ColArt have donated include acrylic and watercolour paints, paper, painting and sketching pads, paint brushes, quality paint gift sets for special prizes, and an easel.
At the request of one of our foster carer’s birth children, we held a ‘My Family Fosters’ training course for sons and daughters of foster carers recently.
The program was facilitated by Scott Winham whose Mum fostered when he was growing up, so he was able to bring real life experience to the program content.
The participants learned about their responsibilities as an integral part of the foster family team and were also introduced to foster care from the perspective of the young person in care.
Comments received afterwards were very positive, including, ‘I found it very interesting to hear other birth children’s points of view’ and ‘It gave me a second way of thinking and did help me understand’.
Thank you to everyone who gave up a Saturday to attend the training.
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