Posted: 23.02.21 at 14:21 by LAYTH YOUSIF @HitchinNubNews
Members of the LGBT+ community are being encouraged to build their family in Hertfordshire by fostering or adopting.
As part of LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week (March 1-7), Hertfordshire County Council is urging people from the LGBT+ community to find out more about the parenting routes open to them.
There are approximately 950 children and young people in care in Hertfordshire and many of these children need the love and support of a foster family.
Similarly, there are a number of children who need permanent homes through adoption.
Foster carers Jack and Andy, who have been fostering for Hertfordshire County Council for a year and a half, believe fostering has changed their lives for the better.
Jack said: “Fostering has completely changed our lives. Fostering is just amazing. You wake up each morning, and you have children there smiling at you, needing your love and care, so for us it’s been the best thing we’ve ever done.”
His partner Andy added: “The good thing about fostering for a same sex couple is that natural progression from a relationship where you want to have a family. It’s made us stronger as a couple because you have to deal with so many things.”
The couple from Hitchin say they have not found any barriers to fostering as a gay couple.
“We were really worried about misconceptions being a same sex couple but from our application to approval, we had nothing but support, guidance and love from the team at the council,” said Jack.
“What really impressed us during the application process was when we were buddied up with an experienced foster carer who showed us the ropes, and then also teamed up with a same sex foster couple so we could share experiences.”
LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week, which is focused this year on the theme Building Your Family in 2021, is organised by charity New Family Social, and aims to highlight the different steps taken from application to approval when fostering or adopting.
Councillor Teresa Heritage, deputy leader of Hertfordshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “We encourage our local LGBT+ community to come forward and speak to us about the options available.
“We welcome applications from all backgrounds and communities to foster or adopt with us.
"As long as you can offer a loving and secure home for our children, we’d love to hear from you. We will then provide you with extensive training and support to help you on your journey.”
To become a foster carer in Hertfordshire, you must be over 21 years old, and have at least one spare room in your home.
There are many different types of fostering and foster carers can choose what is right for them and their family.
Anyone who fosters with Hertfordshire County Council can expect a generous allowance, full training and unrivalled local support. For more information visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/fostering
If you are interested in adopting in Hertfordshire, visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/adoption to find out more.
Alternatively you can call the adoption and fostering recruitment teams on 0800 917 0925.