Car­ing FAM­I­LIES

THE HOMEFINDING & FOS­TER­ING AGENCY ARE THE EX­PERTS IN FOS­TER­ING AND RECOG­NISE THAT LGBT PEO­PLE MAKE EX­CEL­LENT FOSTER CAR­ERS

Pride Life Magazine - - SPONSORED FEATURE -

Re­search pub­lished by the Univer­sity of Cam­bridge in 2013 demon­strated that out­comes for chil­dren raised in LGBT fam­i­lies were the same as, and in some cases, bet­ter, for those chil­dren raised in het­ero­sex­ual fam­i­lies. At that time our Di­rec­tor of Oper­a­tions, Satwinder Sandhu, who is him­self gay, was work­ing with PACT (Par­ents And Chil­dren To­gether). Be­tween 2011 and 2014 he led a suc­cess­ful cam­paign of change within the or­gan­i­sa­tion that saw ap­pli­ca­tions to foster and adopt rise from 0% to over 13%. A wellestab­lished sup­porter of New Fam­ily So­cial be­fore the or­gan­i­sa­tion went main­stream, he be­lieved firmly that les­bian and gay peo­ple were able to make great foster car­ers and adopters and he was proved right. Be­fore he left PACT in 2014 he opened the UK’s first LGBT ded­i­cated adop­tion ser­vice in Brighton. We feel lucky that he brought his pas­sion, ex­per­tise and ex­pe­ri­ence with him to The Homefinding & Fos­ter­ing Agency.

We are seek­ing LGBT foster car­ers in Lon­don and the South-East with a view to achiev­ing some of the re­sults that Satwinder saw at PACT. We know that at present we’re only able to help a frac­tion of the 400 or so chil­dren and young peo­ple re­ferred to our agency each month and we want to do more.

De­spite the changes in law giv­ing LGBT peo­ple equal rights in so­ci­ety, myths and prej­u­dice still pre­vail and many peo­ple we talk to are un­der the im­pres­sion that they can­not ap­ply to foster or that they will face dis­crim­i­na­tion at all stages of the process. We’re 100% con­fi­dent that no LGBT ap­pli­cants would have a neg­a­tive ex­pe­ri­ence at The Homefinding & Fos­ter­ing Agency. You can be sin­gle, in a couple, young or old. You just need to have the time, space (a spare room usu­ally) and pas­sion to care for chil­dren. Fos­ter­ing is dif­fer­ent to adop­tion be­cause there is no le­gal re­la­tion­ship be­tween you and the child, but many chil­dren are placed on a per­ma­nent ba­sis.

In­evitably some of the young peo­ple we need fam­i­lies for have is­sues around their own sex­u­al­ity so our view is what bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment for them to grow up in than a LGBT fam­ily.

We are renowned for the sup­port we of­fer our foster car­ers 24 hours a day, as well as the ex­pert and ac­cred­ited train­ing and gen­er­ous al­lowances to cover ex­penses.

With Satwinder at the helm we are com­mit­ted to be­com­ing the first choice agency for LGBT foster carer ap­pli­cants and we in­vite you to be part of that suc­cess. Un­like lo­cal author­ity fos­ter­ing ser­vices we are not stretched for re­sources, and fos­ter­ing is all we do, so we really are the ex­perts. With the con­tin­u­ing de­cline in num­bers of chil­dren be­ing placed for adop­tion there has never been a bet­ter time to con­sider fos­ter­ing as a route to par­ent­hood.

Satwinder’s mes­sage to those con­sid­er­ing tak­ing the first steps is: “I wel­come you whole­heart­edly to con­sider ap­ply­ing to foster with us. Our whole ap­proach is to sup­port LGBT ap­pli­cants through the process with­out dis­crim­i­na­tion or de­lay and then work with our lo­cal author­ity part­ners to find you the right child for your fam­ily. The sup­port never ends. I know from first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence that les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­der peo­ple make ex­cel­lent par­ents be­cause of­ten they’ve had to nav­i­gate a dif­fi­cult child­hood them­selves. That can be a pos­i­tive as it can help de­velop one of the most cru­cial qual­i­ties foster car­ers need, and that’s em­pa­thy. So, if you sim­ply want a no-strings chat with me or Lisa, our Re­cruit­ment Of­fi­cer and one of our foster car­ers, please do get in touch. You can also speak to Claire, our Place­ments Of­fi­cer whose job it is to match chil­dren and young peo­ple with foster car­ers, to get a sense of the chil­dren who may be right for your fam­ily. We’re here and wait­ing so please make that call. You’ll never re­gret it if you choose us and you’ll help im­prove life chances for chil­dren and young peo­ple who are de­pend­ing on you.”

“We are renowned for the sup­port we of­fer our foster car­ers 24 hours a day, as well as

the ex­pert and ac­cred­ited train­ing and gen­er­ous al­lowances to

cover ex­penses”

To find out more and to make con­tact go to our web­site www. home­find­in­gand­fos­ter­ing. co. uk

SATWINDER SANDHU

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