LGBTQ+ Adoption and Fostering Week - Make the call to be a foster carer
Wiltshire Council needs an additional 30 foster carers this year to help provide homes for young people
If you're interested and want to know more about fostering - get in touch and ask the questions
That's the advice from Jason who along with his partner Charlie have been foster carers with Wiltshire Council for almost three years.
They had already adopted one child and wanted to provide support to other children so they started fostering during the pandemic, providing short breaks and then moving on to foster full time.
Now almost three years later they have fostered children from as young as two to 16 years and are keen to encourage other LGBTQ+ people to consider fostering.
Jason explains being a same sex couple has led to interesting discussions with children they have fostered and it's a great opportunity to talk about diversity
He has shared his story of fostering to encourage more LGBTQ+ people to come forward and provide a warm home for a foster child.
Wiltshire Council needs an additional 30 foster carers this year to help provide homes for young people.
Jason said: "Get in touch and ask the questions. Attend some of the local events and speak to other same sex couples. It is about removing the stigma so don't be afraid to ask the question and get in touch. Make a list of questions you'd like to ask the social worker before you take in a child and there is always support and training available."
From his own experience Jason knows the positive impact of fostering. He explained: "Sometimes it's the really basic things. One child we fostered hadn't gone out much and when we were out and the rain started they said they'd never seen the rain start before. Another was not allowed to turn the lights on so we had to encourage them to do so and after two months he then started to turn them on and then we had to remind him to turn them off! Small changes do make a big change to young people. It can mean they have more control of their life and what's going on."
Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children's Services said: "Thank you to Jason and Charlie and all our foster carers for the positive impact they have made to the children in their care. It really is the small things that can make such a difference to a child's life. Having a warm, stable home gives them the safe space to look to the future and to believe in themselves. We always need more foster carers and this year we need an additional 30 new carers. So if you are thinking of fostering please talk to us and find out more. We provide competitive fostering allowances so people can choose to foster. There is also good support and training to help you succeed as a foster carer."
Wiltshire Council is having an online bring a cuppa and questions evening on Thursday 30 March which people can join on Microsoft Teams.
Fostering with your local council means all money is spent on frontline services and the child is more likely to be able to stay close to their school, friends and family networks. The council is increasing its fostering rates again from April so they will be from £380 to £710 a week depending on people's skills and experience.
Foster carers need to be over 21 years of age, have a spare bedroom, time to care for a child and a willingness to care and seek to understand young people who have experienced trauma and loss.