Despite being worried about facing stigma and judgement, same sex couple Julie and Jo knew they would do a fantastic job as foster carers.They were inspired hearing stories from other foster carers and wanted to do something to help children who are going through a difficult time and facing an uncertain future. Here Julie and Jo tell us about their experiences, and why they would encourage other same sex couples to go for it.
Jo told us: “After reading a story in the local paper about the numbers of children needing loving foster homes, we finally decided to find out more about it. We’re both from big families, Julie is one of 9 siblings and I’m one of 4. We both love children and it felt natural for us to want our own family.
“We’d been thinking about fostering for a long time, but didn’t do anything about it because we were worried about how we’d be treated because we are a gay couple. Looking back, we were silly to worry! Our journey to become foster carers has been fantastic, we’ve had support at every stage and have built strong relationships with everyone who’s involved, we feel we have been accepted as part of a professional team of foster carers.
“We were worried about what birth parents would think, and also the children that we foster, but we’ve never had any issues with this, everyone has been so supportive.
“Becoming foster carers has completely transformed our lives, it’s given us a purpose and a new perspective. We’re approved to look after children aged 0 – 18 years, but we mostly look after older children as that’s where the need is, and to be honest we prefer that.
“Looking after older children means you get down time, you can reason with them and you can really see the difference you are making in their life, you build trust with one another and see them grow. That’s why fostering is so brilliant, you know the children you’re looking after have faced trauma in their life, but you are giving them a loving home where they can feel safe, secure and wanted.
“On the down side, most weekends we seem to be a taxi service or helping with big, complicated pieces of homework, but I guess that’s normal for any family as the children are growing up!
“People from the LGBT community can face stigma throughout their lives, but we know from our own experiences that this makes you stronger and so resilient. These are qualities you really need as a foster carer, so we would definitely encourage others to go for it if they’re interested.
"LGBT foster carers can give children just as good a life as any other family so if you’re thinking about fostering, you should definitely get involved!”
There are over 1,000 children in care in Northamptonshire now. Please don’t rule yourself out if you’re thinking about becoming a foster carer - we’d really love to talk to you. Our team are friendly and professional and will give you all the information you need.
How do I become a foster carer?