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  • 15 Aug 2020 10:33 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Perhaps the hardest thing to do when considering building your family through adoption or fostering is making that first call.

    How will I be spoken to, will the agency want me, will they consider me because my gender or orientation is "this"?

    The fact is that all of our member agencies in NFS are actively looking for LGBT+ adopters and foster carers. There are children who need safe, loving and stable families waiting right now in the care system and you could be the adult that offers them a place in the world.

    The process to becoming approved to foster or adopt in the UK is thorough to ensure the child's safety and because of this the UK has one of the most open and diverse adoption and fostering systems in the world.

    The broad criteria to adopt/foster is as follows:

    • Over 21
    • Must have lived in the UK for at least a year before starting the application process
    • Must be a UK resident or have indefinite leave to remain
    • Your relationship status can be :
      • single
      • married
      • in a civil partnership
      • an unmarried couple
    Additional Considerations

    You can be cisgender, transgender, nonbinary, gender fluid, lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual or a combination of same. You might prefer other terminology/identities and as long as you are open your agency should be able to accommodate you.  You will need to comfortable about how you identify, as the assessment will cover your ability to provide for a child and part of that means that you should "happy in your own skin", as one of our agencies nicely put it.


    If you have recently (within the last year) been through a major event or change in your life (bereavement, relationship breakdown or relocation) then the agency will likely want you to have had a period of time to process and accommodate that change before starting or restarting the process.

    What you don't need to be or have :

    • you do not have to be a British citizen to adopt or foster a child
    • there is no upper age limit but the agencies will be looking to ensure that you can look after the child until they are at least 18 years old
    • you do not need to pay for adoptions or fostering 
    • you do not need to have a garden but access to outside space (park / playground)


    Pets

    It is a myth that if you have a pet then you won't be allowed to adopt or foster.  What you will need to be able to do is to demonstrate that the pet is safe to be around, well looked-after and child-friendly.

    We are trying to put your mind at rest that you will be welcomed at one of our member agencies. Some of our agencies won't have experienced every situation or orientation or gender-variance but should be willing to go through the journey with you.

    If you have a question or want a chat, just give us a call and we will try our best to help.

    IMPORTANT NFS FACT : We are a charity.  We get by on donations and member subscriptions. We are not financially rewarded or compensated by introducing an LGBT+ individual or couple to an agency, or when a member gets approved, or when a child or children are placed with a family. We do it to support our members in building their families and also the hope that more children find loving, happy homes to thrive in.


  • 28 Jul 2020 09:06 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    1 in 12 adoptions in Scotland in 2019 were to same-sex couples. Recently published data by National Records Scotland shows that 41 adoptions in the country took place to same-sex couples, out of 472 adoptions in total. The previous year there were 28 adoptions in Scotland to same-sex couples out of 471. This is both the highest number of adoptions to same-sex couples in Scotland on record and the best proportion of adoptions to LGBT+ people in Scotland on record.

    James Lawrence, New Family Social's Head of Communications & Engagement, said: 'It's fantastic news that both more LGBT+ people are stepping forward and successfully adopting and that adoption agencies in Scotland are seeking out the widest possible pool of potential parents. In every adoption the needs of the child are paramount and there's a proven track record across Scotland, England and Wales of LGBT+ people parenting through adoption and fostering.'

    New Family Social's members can log in to access more information and historical data

  • 22 Jul 2020 13:41 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    LGBT+ adopters and foster carers provide an invaluable resource, parenting some of our country’s most vulnerable children. A new campaign – Adoption & Fostering Support Week for LGBT+ families – aims to provide more and better peer and agency assistance to those adopters and foster carers playing these key roles.

    The campaign will run from 14-18 September and is the first to specifically develop support for LGBT+ adopters and foster carers. It will exclusively target New Family Social’s LGBT+ adopter and foster carer members, with bespoke articles and information on the charity’s new website. It will be backed by a social media campaign and targeted advertising. The results of New Family Social’s LGBT+ members’ 2020 survey also form part of the campaign.

    James Lawrence, Head of Communications & Engagement at New Family Social, said: ‘LGBT+ adopters and foster carers need and deserve practical and easily available resources to help them parent in a range of scenarios. Adoption & Fostering Support Week for LGBT+ families will do just that, in a secure and confidential space. As 1 in 7 adoptions in England in 2019 were to same-sex couples, the need for enhanced, tailored support for LGBT+ people parenting looked-after children continues to grow.’

    The charity leading the campaign, New Family Social, is also responsible for the annual LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week that encourages more LGBT+ people to explore both parenting routes. Since that recruitment campaign’s inception the proportion of LGBT+ people adopting has consistently increased to its current record levels.


  • 20 Jul 2020 11:01 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    State of the system 2020 - New Family Social's research into the experiences of LGBT+ adopters and foster carers in the UK - is now open to members who have a Gold or Silver membership. 

    James Lawrence, Head of Communications and Engagement at the charity said: 'LGBT+ people now form a key pool of adopters and foster carers to care for our country's most vulnerable children. How the adoption and fostering assessment and support processes treat these crucial parents helps determine how successful these placements are. Our understanding of the system will also help agencies to continue and increase their recruitment of applicants who identify as lesbian, gay, bi or trans.'

    New Family Social's LGBT+ adopter and foster carer members  - who have a Gold or Silver membership - can take part in the survey by logging in to the site.

  • 8 Jul 2020 08:58 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Welcoming the ruling against Cornerstone fostering agency, James Lawrence, New Family Social's Head of Communications and Engagement said: 'In every fostering case the needs of the child must be paramount.

    'This ruling reinforces that and allows foster carers to be sourced from the widest possible pool of potential parents.'



  • 6 Jul 2020 15:21 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Need the text? See below



    2020's been a challenging year and we're barely half way through it. Here's some of our highlights:

    Our members

    We're the credible voice for LGBT+ adopters and foster carers across the UK. Some 4,800 LGBT+ adopters and foster carers now access our online services. We also support over 200 agencies to help them better work with LGBT+ potential parents.



    Online support

    Lockdown's a challenge. New Family Social stepped up to the plate. We moved meet-ups and information sessions online - and supported some 500 members through real-time sessions since April 2020. A highlight was delivering our first information session with signing for Deaf people.



    Spilling the tea!

    Adoption, Fostering & Tea - our podcast series sharing the experiences of real-life LGBT+ people adopting, fostering or going through the assessment process - has been 'enjoyed' by some 1,200 listeners. Biscuits were consumed in the recording of each installment.



    New website

    Our window to the world was given a good clean with the launch of a sparkling new website. It's been enjoyed by 4,000 unique visitors since May 2020 and led to surge in re-engagement from our long-standing members.



    Getting on your socials

    We Facebook, we Twitter, we hashtag. All with a soupcon of sass. To a combined audience of 12,800 people who are interested - whether professionally, personally or both - in LGBT+ people adopting or fostering.



    Increasing awareness

    1 in 7 adoptions in England in 2019 were to same-sex couples. It's no coincidence that the proportion of LGBT+ people successfully adopting has increased every year since the start of our annual awareness raising campaign - LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week. In 2020 the campaign reached 23 million people through social media alone.

  • 6 Jul 2020 08:53 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Adoption, Fostering & Tea is New Family Social's podcast, covering all things in these parenting routes that our LGBT+ members go through.

    The podcast is brought to you by New Family Social - the UK's peer support network for LGBT+ adopters and foster carers - with kind support from Little Radio

    In this episode we talk about the decisions and thoughts behind adopting a sibling group.


  • 17 Jun 2020 10:15 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Adoption, Fostering & Tea is New Family Social's podcast, covering all things in these parenting routes that our LGBT+ members go through.

    The podcast is brought to you by New Family Social - the UK's peer support network for LGBT+ adopters and foster carers - with kind support from Little Radio

    In this episode we chat with DJ about contact with birth siblings.


  • 9 Jun 2020 15:45 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Changes to responsibilities towards children-in-care have provoked concern among some experts in the field. Temporary changes to 10 regulations relating to the safeguarding, care and protection of vulnerable children and young people have been introduced by the government as part of its response to Covid-19.

    The changes – currently planned to be in force until September 2020 – ease some legal protections and remove others.

    Among the changes – reported by Community Care – are:

    • Visits to children-in-care: The requirement for social workers to visit children in care a week after they start a placement – and then at six-week intervals – has been removed. In its place is an instruction that, if these visits can’t take place in line with these timescales, they should take place ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’. These ‘visits’ can take place by telephone, video or electronically.
    • Children’s care reviews: Reviews of looked-after children’s care – following the first two reviews – can now take place when ‘reasonably practicable’. These subsequent reviews were previously required to take place at least every six months.
    • Emergency foster care placements: The maximum length of these is now 24 weeks – extended from 16. The requirement for temporary foster carers to have a connection with the child has been removed.
    • Fostering panel assessment: The requirement for fostering panels to assess prospective carers is now optional. Instead, fostering providers are empowered to take decisions based on their own assessment.
    • Adoption panel assessment: Also removed is the requirement that adoption agencies establish panels that assess applications and issue advice around the suitability of prospective parents. Other checks on prospective parents have also been relaxed.

    Of these changes it’s the last two that may be the most relevant to LGBT+ potential parents. Our community carries with it a historical expectation of discrimination – YouGov polling in 2013 found that 8 in 10 lesbian, gay and bisexual people expect to encounter barriers to become foster carers because of their sexual orientation. If the need for a broader voice to inform recommendations of adoption or fostering assessment approval is removed, how can agencies reassure LGBT+ applicants that they won’t be discriminated against?

    In 2019 a number of adoption agencies consulted New Family Social, concerned that key decision-makers on their adoption panels were falling short in their legal duties to fairly assess LGBT+ prospective parents. By removing the requirement to establish and hold panels, there’s a clear risk this prejudice will go unchecked, ultimately meaning that children-in-care will be denied parents from the widest possible pool. New Family Social strongly urges agencies to seek out technological solutions that allow the retention of panel assessments involving voices from across the community the agency serves.

     


  • 9 Jun 2020 14:16 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Adoption, Fostering & Tea is New Family Social's podcast, covering all things in these parenting routes that our LGBT+ members go through.

    The podcast is brought to you by New Family Social - the UK's peer support network for LGBT+ adopters and foster carers - with kind support from Little Radio

    In the latest ep of the podcast Mark shares his experiences of meeting his adopted son's birth mother.



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