Prospective foster carers encouraged to attend an event during LGBTQ+ Adoption and Fostering Week 2023

As part of LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering Week 2023, which returns from 6 to 11 March, Cumbria County Council’s fostering service is holding a series of face to face and online events next week.

‘1, 2, 3, or more?’ is the theme of LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering Week 2023, which is organised by New Family Social, and asks LGBTQ+ people to consider adopting or fostering single children or those in sibling groups.

Kevin Kerr, from Carlisle, has been a foster carer, along with his partner Dave, for more than 16 years, caring for five children long-term, including a sibling group of two.

Kevin said: “We started off fostering by offering respite care to three children at weekends – one sibling group of two brothers and one single girl on different weekends; so we were getting different experiences with different children. After a year or so we also took on a long-term placement full-time but continued to offer respite to the other children on weekends. We had made a commitment to the children on respite and we weren’t keen to stop that relationship. 

“Fostering more than one child, either as siblings or from different families, adds spice to family life; different personalities, different interests and different perspectives are added to the family life pot. After 16 years of long-term placements our fostering family now consists of seven people, with six surnames, with two (soon to be three) more added through marriage and births. It gets a bit interesting at the doctors sometimes and at passport control but we all love it that way. Family is family and like a birth family increases naturally, so did ours.”

“Eventually the brothers we provided respite for needed long-term care and we felt it was a natural progression for them to come to us as foster carers. There was never an option to split them up; in our minds they came as a pair.  Our boys had a life together, a shared history, shared memories and shared extended family. We feel that if it’s in the best interests of the children, then every effort should be made to keep sibling groups together. 

The council’s fostering service already supports around 275 fostering households but with close to 725 children in care across Cumbria, there are still many children in care whose lives could be transformed by an LGBTQ+ foster carer.  While there is a need for foster carers for children of all ages, there is a particular need for carers who can offer long term homes to sibling groups and older children.

To become a foster carer you must be over 21 and have a least one spare bedroom in your home, as well as the time and commitment to make a difference in a child’s life.

Find out more at an event:

If you want to find out more about becoming a foster carer, come along to an event and talk to our friendly team and experienced foster carers about the fostering process, the children waiting to be fostered and what it’s like to foster a child. No need to book just come along:

  • Tuesday 7 March – Join our virtual information drop in on Zoom from 7pm to 8pm.
  • Thursday 9 March – Kendal drop in at Costa Coffee in the Elephant Yard from 12pm to 1pm.
  • Friday 10 March – Fostering information drop in at the Community Room, Barrow Fire Station, LA14 2NS Phoenix Road in Barrow, from 12pm to 1pm.

For more information on fostering and details of all upcoming events please visit Cumbria.gov.uk/fostering.


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