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Council keen to encourage more LGBT foster carers

Bridgend County Borough Council has been supporting LGBT Fostering and Adoption Week by encouraging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) members of the local community to consider adopting or fostering children in the county borough.

Currently, there are only two same-sex couples in Bridgend County Borough who are foster carers.

We spoke to one couple, Geraint and Serkan, who have been fostering for just over a year.

Geraint said: “We are both very family-orientated people and we are two full-time working parents, so we were unsure if we would be eligible to foster.

“But after making some initial enquires with the fostering team in Bridgend, we discovered that there are all sorts of placements to suit all types of people whether you are single, in employment, own or rent your house, the placement is made to suit the individual needs of the child.

“Following our approval from the fostering panel, we have had a few placements to date. Although at times, we have to admit it has been quite challenging, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.”

Serkan said: “Yes, there are difficulties to overcome with every placement, and you need to be prepared for that. You have to go into fostering with your eyes open. The rewards come when you see a child grow in confidence before your eyes. You are giving a vulnerable child the best possible chance of happiness.”

Geraint added: “Working parents offer a good role model to foster children, we encourage them to go to school and aspire to get a job in the future and be self-reliant and confident young adults.

“I would say, if you are interested in fostering, your ethnic origins, sexual orientation or marital status should not be a barrier to becoming a valued foster carer.”

With many children in need of a stable and loving home in Bridgend County Borough, the council is keen to urge other potential LGBT adopters and foster carers to come forward.

LGBT Fostering and Adoption Week is a perfect opportunity for us to highlight the fact that we welcome LGBT carers and we want to inspire more people to make a positive difference to the lives of children in care.

There are many great reasons to foster such as the fact you gain recognised qualifications and have a sense of achievement from helping someone at a crucial time in their life.

The advantage of being part of Bridgend Foster Care is you keep Bridgend children in the county borough, so if you can offer a loving and safe environment for a child – then we encourage you to pick up the phone and find out more about how you can start your fostering journey.

Councillor Philip White, Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help

LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week is run by New Family Social, the network for LGBT adoption and foster families.

For further information on how to foster or adopt in Bridgend County Borough, contact Bridgend Foster Care on 01656 642674 or visit: www.bridgendfostercare.wales.

For general enquiries, please contact Bridgend County Borough Council's customer contact centre:

Telephone: 01656 643643
Opening hours:

09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Thursday; 
09:00 to 16:30 Friday.

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