Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
More gay couples needed to foster children in Swindon
THE town’s first gay male couple to foster a child are encouraging more people to become foster carers.
Swindon Council is looking for foster carers and adopters from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, as part of the second annual LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, which starts today.
In Swindon, there are currently six sets of carers, who foster or adopt, from the LGBT community, representing roughly three per cent of the overall numbers of approved carers in the town.
Anthony, 34, a graphic design officer, said: “There is a misconception where people think that two males can’t foster. I think that is probably why more people don’t go to find out about it.
“Fostering is rewarding because you can do things together as a family. It’s rewarding seeing him doing well at school – he wants to go to university.
“He is gradually becoming an adult. That is what we wanted to experience as parents because we hadn’t had the chance before.
“If you want to have a family, fostering is a good way of having that family unit together.
“We talk to him about problems and issues he’s got and we have a laugh with each other.
“Neither of us play the role of a maternal woman, but we have still got a good and loving environment.”
LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, which runs until Sunday, includes a series of events around the country to educate prospective parents and carers about the processes involved.
Mike, 26, a student experience manager, said: “I come from a really big family and I have always wanted children of my own.
“It dawned on me there are a lot of young people who don’t have parents and families. We spent a lot of time talking about it – it was a two year process.
“It is a lot of work but you get such a lot out of it. He is part of the family. He has got his own family but he is part of ours as well.”
As well as looking for LGBT foster carers, the council is also looking for heterosexual couples and single people to take on the role.
There are opportunities to take part in temporary care, permanent care, crisis or emergency care, overnight short breaks for children with disabilities as well as supported lodgings for young people aged 16 to 21.
A fostering information session will be held at the Lyndhurst Centre in Park North tomorrow between 6pm and 7.30pm.
An adoption information session will also take place at the Lyndhurst Centre on Friday between 10am and noon.
Foster carers receive ongoing training and an allowance.
For more information contact the Family Placement Team on 01793 465700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.