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  • 6 Apr 2021 15:55 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Looking for the latest statistics on adoption or fostering by LGBT+ people in the UK? If you're one of our Bronze, Silver, Gold or Orange members you can log in and check out each country's stats, below:


     



    England

     



    Scotland

     



     Wales

     


     

    Northern Ireland


    Need to access the stats? You can create a free Bronze membership in a matter of minutes.

  • 6 Apr 2021 09:50 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Diagrama is urging members of the LGBT community to considering becoming foster carers after a spike in demand

    There's been a much publicised and dramatic surge in the need for safe and secure homes for children during the pandemic. The charity Diagrama is keen to hear from those who might want to consider a career in fostering.

    Margaret Gardiner is a Fostering and Adoption Team Manager and a Foster Carer for Diagrama. She shares her personal insight into fostering in this film.

    Children who need to be fostered come from a range of different backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities. Sometimes they are babies or infants. Often they are older children. Some will be on their own, but others will be part of a family group. Some will have special needs or disabilities; others will have less obvious needs.

    Diagrama supports and empowers their foster carers to provide homes which enable children to feel safe, secure, attached and inspired – where they’re safe and can start to enjoy life again.

    Find out how you could make a huge difference to a child’s life by becoming a foster carer with Diagrama by visiting its website. Or you can call the Diagrama team on 0800 802 1910

    Alternatively, why not attend a Diagrama online fostering information event by registering via Eventbrite?


  • 1 Apr 2021 09:05 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New Family Social’s census was taken between 21 -27 March. It asked the charity’s LGBT+ members at different stages of their adoption and fostering journey to anonymously share data including their identified sexual orientation, gender identity, geographical location and more.

    The full report is accessible to our registered members at Bronze/Silver/Gold/Orange levels. Simply follow this link, log in and you’ll be redirected to it.

    You can also quickly register for a free Bronze membership and access the report, our directory of agencies that provide dedicated support to LGBT+ adopters and foster carers and our information session finder tool.


  • 9 Mar 2021 11:13 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mothers' Day is coming up soon - 14 March -  in the UK. Now is a good time to think about how you - and your children's school/nursery - are going to handle it. 

    Some schools and nurseries don't observe Mothers' or Fathers' Day at all. Instead, they celebrate family in other ways through the year. But most schools will mark both days with special activities. Planning ahead will give you time to decide what will work for your family and get the school on board. 

    Cards and craft activities 

    Making a card for Mum is a classic Mothers' Day classroom activity, which can upset kids. With a bit of planning though, everyone can feel included. Here's some options: 

    • Make one card for both mums, or a card each 

    • Make a card for a grandmother/aunt/other female relative 

    • Make a card or two for both dads - even though it's mothers' day 

    • Make a card for the foster carer(s) 

    • Make a card for a special person of the child's choice 

    • Make a card for/to think about the child's birth mum 

    Check with school that they're not using pre-printed templates or very gendered crafts. You may decide that your child should skip this activity and have some special time out of class instead. 


    Lesson plans about diverse families 

    Many schools also hold lessons about family at this time of year. It's a great opportunity for them to show different kinds of families. There are some lesson plans available online which you can share with the school/nursery: 

    "Love makes a family" display – make an art display featuring all the different families  

    "Stella brings the family" – based on a popular book about a girl with two dads 

    "All about my ____" questionnaire – a good replacement for the “All about my mum” activity 

    "Who lives with you" – a simple house origami for the children to draw inside 

    The Family Book circle time – a lesson plan for very young children based on Todd Parr’s popular book 


  • 1 Mar 2021 08:06 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Campaign calls for LGBT+ people to consider these  routes to ‘Build Your Family’ 

    Call to build on 2020 record of LGBT+ people adopting

    LGBT+ people in the UK are urged to explore adoption and fostering as potential parenting routes in a campaign launching today (1 March). With 80,000 children in care in 2020 in England alone, LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week brings together agencies and LGBT+ possible applicants. The campaign is led by charity New Family Social, with support from some 70 agencies - representing more than 80 local authorities - across the country, from Belfast to Brighton. 

    Build Your Family – the campaign theme – helps LGBT+ people view the adoption and fostering assessment process in easy stages. The campaign starts by showcasing LGBT+ parented adoptive and foster families. 

    Tor Docherty, New Family Social Chief Executive said: ‘Record numbers of LGBT+ people now adopt or foster. The urgent need for more to do so hasn’t disappeared in the pandemic. The assessment process can still take place, despite lockdown and restrictions. If you’re LGBT+ it’s as good a time as any to find out how you can build your family through adoption or fostering.’ 

    Since the campaign started in 2012, the number of same-sex couples adopting reached 1 in 6 in England in 2020, a record in both its proportion and total figure. In the same period 1 in 5 adoptions in Wales were to same-sex couples and 10 per cent of adopters in Northern Ireland were same-sex couples. 

    LGBT+ people can find out more about their fostering and adoption options at newfamilysocial.org.uk/afw21/ 


  • 23 Feb 2021 10:32 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month, the charity Diagrama is keen to remind prospective adopters that they welcome all applications regardless of age, faith, sexual orientation, ethnicity or whether you are single or a couple.

    Jason and Eric, from Catford, became parents to a son called Toby - this is their story:

    'Eric and I always dreamed of having children but never really thought it was a possibility and assumed that the closest we would get was being uncles or godparents. We knew that we had so much to offer a child who may not have had the best start in life and that adoption was the best way forward for us.

    We were pleasantly surprised by how straightforward the adoption process was. We saw an information event advertised by the charity Diagrama and instantly felt that they would be the agency for us.

    The comprehensive training we received helped us to identify our parenting styles and values and gave us great insight into the needs that an adoptive child may have. We immediately felt that our appointed social worker understood us as a family and had a clear picture of the type of child we were looking for. Nine months after attending the initial information evening, we were approved as adopters and began the journey to become parents.

    Although the process of finding our child felt long and frustrating at times, it actually only took five months. Our social worker supported us throughout and kept us positive by reassuring us that it was a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ we would find the right child to adopt.

    We read a profile of a little boy called Toby and submitted our interest and were delighted when his social workers asked to meet us. The meeting went well and once they agreed that we were a good match, we got to hear more about Toby and went to meet him at his foster carer’s home. The first meeting was a bit daunting but exciting and he won us over with his charm and humour immediately.

    We spent a few months getting to know Toby before he moved in and when he first came home with us, we all enjoyed a wonderful honeymoon period, but as he settled and felt increasingly comfortable around us, we faced a more challenging time. There were occasions when he would become distressed and angry and he had a few meltdowns, but our social worker really helped us get through these times. The support and training we’d received was invaluable in enabling us to understand Toby’s needs and how we could support him. We started to realise what the triggers were for his behaviour and how we could try and avoid them. It was just Toby’s way of testing the boundaries and to find out what would happen. He needed to know that he was safe and loved by us no matter what and that he could trust us.

    We are now much better at spotting the signs – we can usually resolve issues quickly without things escalating but I won’t deny it ... parenting can be exhausting!

    Looking at Toby now it is difficult to imagine that he is the same boy who had such a sad start to life. He has shown true resilience and we are proud beyond words! Our families and friends love him to bits and we only ever hear positive things, from school and the clubs he attends about how kind and helpful he is.

    Having same-sex parents hasn’t really been an issue so far for Toby – in fact, he loves telling anyone who will listen that he has two dads! We do sometimes worry about how we will be perceived, but we are lucky to have a very diverse network of friends and Toby appreciates that everyone is different and deserving of respect. We’ve explained to Toby that what is important is the love within your family not who we are. Staff at his school have been very welcoming and supportive too. We’ve only ever experienced one problem when another parent made a comment but the Headteacher challenged it and reinforced the point that the school is inclusive and respectful of everyone’s differences.

    Like any family we have our up and downs, but the rewards of parenthood are priceless. We feel blessed that we have such an incredible son with whom we share so much joy, love and laughter. He is the centre of our universe and we love being able to support and guide him as he grows and witness the progress he makes. He has made our lives complete.'

    Diagrama welcomes all adoption enquiries regardless of age, faith, sexuality, ethnicity or whether you are single or a couple – to find out more visit its website 

    The stats: In the last two years 15.7 per cent  - or 1 in 6 - of Diagrama’s approved adopters were in a same-sex relationship.


  • 21 Feb 2021 15:36 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week returns from 1-7 March 2021.

    This year's theme is Build Your Family with each day of the campaign dedicated to explaining a different part of the assessment and approval process.

    (Work for one of our member agencies? All the collateral for the campaign for our member agencies is available from a dedicated section on this website, accessible to staff working at our member agencies. You'll need to hold a free Orange membership to log in and access it)

    For agencies that don't hold a New Family Social subscription for 2020/21, there are some resources below that can be used to support the campaign.

    General social media slides

    Campaign theme - Children [Facebook slide]

    Campaign theme - Children [Twitter slide]

    Campaign theme - Rainbow Heart [Facebook slide]

    Campaign theme - Rainbow Heart [Twitter slide]


    Statistics to support the campaign

    facebook slides

    Same-sex couple adoption statistics England 2020 [Facebook slide]

    Same-sex couple adoption statistics Scotland 2019 [Facebook slide]

    Same-sex couple adoption statistics Wales 2019 [Facebook slide]

    Same-sex couples as percentage of adopters in Northern Ireland in 2020 [Facebook slide]


    Twitter slides

    Same-sex couple adoption statistics England 2020 [Twitter slide]

    Same-sex couple adoption statistics Scotland 2019 [Twitter slide]

    Same-sex couple adoption statistics Wales 2019 [Twitter slide]

    Same-sex couples as percentage of adopters in Northern Ireland in 2020 [Twitter slide]


    More resources will be added to this post as the campaign nears

  • 28 Jan 2021 11:49 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week - the annual campaign by New Family Social to encourage more people to explore these parenting routes - will return on 1 March. The theme for 2021 is Build Your Family.

    Staff at adoption and fostering agencies that are members of New Family Social can register now for updates to the campaign by signing up to this event. Please note, staff will need to hold an Orange membership - free to our member agency staff - to do this and your agency must hold a 2020/21 membership. 

    Materials for non-member agencies will be publicly available during February.

    Work for an agency that wants to become a member agency of New Family Social? Contact our agency manager Jamie to find out more.


    Among those agencies we know that'll take part in 2021....

    If you're LGBT+ and considering going on your adoption or fostering journey with an agency not on the list below, you may want to ask it why it's not backing the campaign. All of the agencies listed offer dedicated support to their LGBT+ adopters and foster carers through their membership of New Family Social.

    ACE Adoption 

    Adopt London [North, South] 

    Adopt South

    Adopt South West

    Adopt Thames Valley 

    Adopters for Adoption

    Adoption@Heart

    Adoption Connects

    Adoption Counts 

    Adoption Focus

    Adoption in Merseyside 

    Adoption Matters 

    Adoption Now

    Adoption South East

    Adoption West

    Adoptionplus

    Amicus Foster Care

    ARC Adoption North East

    Barnardo's 

    Blue Sky Fostering 

    BSN Social Care

    Buckinghamshire Council Fostering & Adoption 

    Cambridgeshire County Council Fostering 

    Caritas Care 

    CCS Adoption

    The Children's Family Trust

    Cornwall Council and The Council of the Isles of Scilly Adoption Agency

    Diagrama 

    Essex County Council 

    Faith in Families

    Family Adoption Links

    Families for Children Trust 

    Family Care Adoption Services

    Family Futures

    Five Rivers Fostering

    The Foster Care Co-operative

    Foster Careline

    Foster for Staffordshire

    Fostering Company North East

    Havering Borough Council Fostering 

    Hertfordshire County Council 

    Inverclyde Council 

    Lambeth Council Fostering 

    Leicester City Council Fostering

    Leicestershire County Council Fostering

    Lincolnshire County Council 

    National Fostering Group

    Nexus Fostering

    Norfolk County Council 

    Northamptonshire Children's Trust

    Oldham Council Fostering Service

    One Adoption North & Humber

    One Adoption West Yorkshire 

    Oxfordshire County Council Fostering

    PACT [Parents And Children Together]

    Parallel Parents

    Rochdale Borough Council Fostering 

    Rotherham MBC 

    Safehouses Fostering

    Scottish Adoption 

    Sheffield City Council 

    Southampton City Council 

    St Andrew's Children's Society

    St Francis' Children's Society

    Stockport Council Fostering

    Suffolk County Council

    Surrey Council Fostering 

    Thurrock Council 

    Together for Adoption 

    Tower Hamlets Council Fostering Service

    Vale, Valleys & Cardiff Regional Adoption Agency 

    Western Bay Adoption Service

    Yorkshire Adoption Agency



  • 10 Dec 2020 11:03 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Figures published by the English government’s Department for Education today (10 December) show that 1 in 6 adoptions in 2020 were to same-sex couples. This is the highest proportion since records began, analysis by the UK’s LGBT+ adoption and fostering charity New Family Social shows.

    While the total number of adoptions in England fell to 3,440 in 2020, some 570 were to same-sex couples. This was an increase to the highest number of adoptions by same-sex couples to date, beating the previous high of 490 in 2019.

    Tor Docherty, New Family Social’s Chief Executive said: ‘We’re delighted to see the numbers of adoptions to LGBT+ people increase for the third consecutive year. LGBT+ people can and do provide invaluable parenting to some of our most vulnerable children. England’s adoption agencies increasingly recognise and use us as an essential resource. It’s great to end this challenging year with some much-needed good news.’

    New Family Social runs the annual LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week campaign, which started in 2012. In that year 160 adoptions were to same-sex couples, representing 1 in 22 adoptions that year.

    How the statistics break down:

    Total number of adoptions in England in 2020: 3,440

    Total number of adoptions in England by same-sex couples [whether married, civilly partnered or neither]: 570

    Adoptions by same-sex couple as percentage of whole: 16.6

    Proportion of adoptions by same-sex couples in 2019/20: 1 in 6


    In detail:


    Family type

    Number of adoptions 2019/20 by same-sex couples 

    Male married same-sex couples

    170

    Female married same-sex couples

    120

    Male civil partnership couple

    70

    Female civil partnership couple

    30

    Male couple/not married or Civilly partnered

    120

    Female couple/not married or Civilly partnered

    60  


    • Department for Education statistics exclude bi people not in an opposite-sex relationship, single adopters who are LGBT+ and trans people not in an opposite-sex relationship
  • 2 Dec 2020 10:35 | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Whether you’re starting out on your adoption or fostering journey, or are several years into it, you’re encouraged to be open and honest. You need a strong relationship with your agency and social worker. But what if you’re struggling with your mental health? At New Family Social we usually hear from our members as that situation escalates. Before we wrote about depression we wanted to know how it affects our LGBT+ members. So we asked them.

    Nearly two in three of our LGBT+ Gold and Silver members who responded – 62 per cent – reported symptoms of depression relating to their adoption or fostering journey. This may shock you. When we asked our Bronze members – who are usually starting the process, or in Stage 1 – this rose to 63 per cent. However, the assessment process alone requires you to submit to an exposing evaluation. A significant proportion of LGBT+ people expect their sexual orientation or gender identity to be a barrier in their assessment. This can take a high mental toll from the outset. Earlier this year, 1 in 3 of our members – who were currently family-finding – said their sexual orientation was a barrier at that stage. For those LGBT+ people who’ve parented or cared for looked-after children for years, the recent pandemic brought its own challenges. Vulnerable children often need stability and certainty. These are two factors in short supply in 2020. With those factors absent, a child’s need for support can spiral and place a high burden on their adoptive parent or foster carer.

    Nearly 2 in 10 – 19 per cent – of our LGBT+ Gold and Silver members report receiving a diagnosis of depression relating to their adoption or fostering journey. Why this is so much lower is unclear. It’s possible that LGBT+ people feel the need to continue and not seek help. Why admit a problem when you've passed each previous challenge in your adoption or fostering assessment? Some will effectively manage their signs of depression without help. However, the disparity between the number of LGBT+ adopters and foster carers experiencing symptoms of depression and the number who receive a diagnosis is notable. And may be a cause for concern.

    Seeking help isn't a sign of weakness. The fear that asking for support will negatively affect your assessment can't stop you from accessing support. Not seeking help because your agency is unresponsive will not resolve your situation. Stepping back from parenting if your partner seems closer to your child will only exacerbate the situation.

    Sometimes talking to other adopters or foster carers will help. Others in the same situation may bring a perspective you need. If your sexual orientation or gender identity is being treated as a barrier, then talking to other LGBT+ people can help. Your GP can help you access talking therapies or medication if those are what you need. Ultimately, your ability to meet the needs of your child is paramount. If your mental health suffers you should know you aren't alone. Help is available and your situation will improve. Whether you reach out to other LGBT+ adopters or foster carers, New Family Social or your agency you can manage your mental health better with their support.


    Further information:

    There's some useful information from the NHS online 

    Contact the Samaritans if you need to speak to someone urgently 

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