Fostering Stories

 

It takes all kinds of people to foster all kinds of children so, please, do not assume you will be rejected before you even apply.

These are the words from Mountain Ash's Daniel Pitt who grew up in foster care and is speaking out as Fostering RCT prepares to mark LGBT Fostering and Adoption Month - by urging potential carers from all walks of life to come forward.

Daniel believes there are people out there, from the LGBT community and beyond, who would love to foster but fear they may be rejected before they even begin.

He said: "More foster carers are needed full stop. That is a given. There are children and young people who cannot live with their birth families who need a safe, secure and loving home, for as long as they need it.

"The traditional mum, dad and 2.4 children is out of date now. It is more important that a family environment is focused on love, support and nurture, rather than how it is made up.

"I think it is important that the range of foster carers available reflect the lifestyles and choices of the children in care they are helping to raise. Every child and young person in care is an individual and it takes all kinds of carers, with different lifestyles, and interests to raise those children."

Daniel, who is now 25, is a keen commentator on Foster Care and LGBT issues. He was aged 12 or 13 and in the care of long-term foster parents Peter and Joan Crisp, of Aberaman, when he realised he was gay.

He kept it to himself and tried, unsuccessfully to secure his own research, information and advice on LGBT issues via his school and libraries.

It was only when Joan found a copy of Attitude magazine in his room when he was about 15 that he began discussing his sexuality openly.

He said: "Joan told me she already knew and that it was fine, she didn't care and she loved me as I was. She told me 'you are you' and helped me come to terms with it.

"Joan and Peter are not LGBT foster carers, but they are experienced carers and incredible people, so they were able to  help me. There are many, many more carers in Fostering RCT like that.

"I think it is important for children in care who are LGBT to be able to have that support and, if more LGBT carers were to come forward, they would  have peers and role models to guide and support them.

"That is not to say that LGBT carers should only have LGBT children, it should be a mix. The more people we have available to foster, the more chance we have of matching children with the right family for them."

Cllr Geraint Hopkins, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council's Fostering Champion and Cabinet Member for Children's Services, Equality and the Welsh Language, said: "LGBT Fostering and Adoption Week is an important chance for us to open the doors of Fostering RCT to all.

"We are a Stonewall Top 100 UK employer due to the support we give LGBT  employees and are also a member of New Family Social, the charity which helps create LGBT families through fostering and adoption, who endorse our work and approach.

"We thank Dan for speaking out and showing his support for recruitment. We welcome people from all walks of life to Fostering RCT and completely agree with Dan that the bigger our range of carers, the  better the "choice" children who need care have when it comes to being placed with a family."

Fostering RCT is recruiting now.

It is a Stonewall UK Top 100 employer and a member of New Family Social.

It welcomes new carers, people looking to change professions and also those currently working for other care agencies.

Find out more by visiting www.fosteringrct.co.uk or like the Fostering RCT facebook page for the latest news and information.