Exeter’s LGBT+ community encouraged to foster as 78,000 young people enter the care system

National independent fostering provider, Five Rivers Child Care, is calling on Exeter’s LGBT+ community to consider local fostering opportunities, after a damning report shared at the start of 2020 has shown a record number of children are in care.

There are currently 78,150 children in the care system across England and another 660 foster carers are needed across the South West to meet demand and provide loving homes to vulnerable children and young people.

During LGBT+ History Month, which aims to promote the visibility of the LGBT+ community throughout society, Five Rivers is challenging a common misconception that sexual orientation prevents LGBT+ members from fostering.

Almost 60 percent of people across the South West are unaware that same sex couples or those from the LGBT+ community are eligible to foster.

Just 480 children were placed in foster care with LGBT+ families in 2014, yet charity New Family Social claims if just one percent of the LGBT+ community was to foster, there would be no children waiting for a home. 

Commenting on the need for more LGBT+ foster carers, Sarah Wells, Fostering Service Manager at Five Rivers Child Care in the region, said: “There’s a desperate need for more people to enter the fostering industry. With nearly 80,000 vulnerable young people in need of a safe home we want to challenge misconceptions that might prevent LGBT+ members from fostering.

“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 care system and provide role models from all walks of life. We have some amazing LGBT+ carers who are enriching children’s and young people’s lives every day and encourage anyone who would like to do the same to get in touch.”

People from all walks of life can become foster carers as long as they are over 21 years of age. This includes single people, co-habiting couples, same sex couples and people living in rented accommodation – the only requirement is a private bedroom for each foster child.

For more information on Five Rivers Child Care, visit https://www.five-rivers.org/fostering/, call the enquiries team on 01392 454989 or email carer.enquiries@five-rivers.org

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