Our positive open and inclusive culture was praised by Encompass Network when we were awarded our accreditation as a ‘safe space’ for employees, children and foster carers from the LGBT+ community. It means a great deal to us that people can feel safe and included within our organisation.
According to recent figures, if 1% of the LGBT+ community became foster carers it would remove the deficit of 8500 foster carers currently needed nationwide to support the children coming in to care.
We aim to encourage the widest possible range of people to become foster carers and in particular reassure people from the LGBT+ community and people living with disability that applications from them would be welcomed by us with open arms. We are looking to build diverse communities of foster carers across Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire Essex and surrounding areas.
Anja McConnachie, from the Centre for Family Research at Cambridge University, recently talked at an event we hosted, on the positive impact of LGBT parents on child development. The outcomes of the research positively in support of people from the LGBT+ community undertaking parental roles, and highlighting numerous reasons why gay men and women would make excellent foster carers. Likewise organisations like Purple are campaigning to raise awareness of people with disability and the enormous contribution they make to our society.
Fostering network over the last two weeks have dispelled myths about who can and who cannot foster children. There are key personal qualities that foster carers need, like being warm, open minded, caring,non-judgemental and having the ability to build relationships with young people, the rest is down to the levels of commitment to learning, reflection and working together with others to achieve successful outcomes for children.
Foster Care Fortnight may well have finished for this year but our challenge remains as a society, to overcome the national deficit of foster carers, in order to support children who come in to care through no fault of their own. We are committed to maintaining a Safe Space for anyone considering fostering.
We are planning local events for people to come and meet us and ask questions about fostering.