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Over 60% of the British public unaware that same sex couples are eligible to foster

We are calling on the LGBTQ community to explore career opportunities in fostering as new research highlights misconceptions about the industry could be impacting foster carer recruitment numbers. There are currently 6,800 children and young people needing foster homes across England yet there are common misconceptions around who is eligible to foster, from age through to living circumstances and sexual orientation.

Over 60% of people across the UK are unaware that same sex couples or those from the LGBTQ community could foster, a misconception we are keen to eliminate. In addition to misconceptions surrounding LGBTQ rights to foster, a further 60 percent of people believe that those in rented accommodation are unable to foster, and 40 percent believe that those without their own children wouldn’t be allowed to be foster carers.

Commenting on the findings, Martin Leitch, Head of Fostering Operations at Five Rivers Child Care, said: “The findings from our recent research paint a massively outdated picture of the fostering industry but it highlights that more needs to be done to reach those within LGBTQ communities to tell them about the career opportunities available to them in fostering. And it’s not just a career, it’s a life choice. Its deciding to change the life of a vulnerable young person that otherwise might not have a home or a family. It’s extremely important to have a diverse range of foster carers across the country to reflect the diverse nature of the children and young people entering the system and provide role models from all walks of life. We already have some fantastic carers from the LGBTQ community who are enriching children’s and young people’s lives on a daily basis.

“We want to make it common knowledge that anyone can foster, providing they have a spare room and they are over the age of 21. A foster carer is not determined by whether they own a house, or whether they’re married or have children. Single people, those in rented accommodation, those with disabilities and those from the LGBTQ community all have the opportunity to make great foster carers.”

For more information on how you can help, please call 0345 266 0272 or email [email protected].

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