Buckinghamshire Council celebrates LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Support Week

It’s LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Support Week this week (20-24 Sept), with a theme that focuses on education. Buckinghamshire Council is using this opportunity to highlight the tremendous amount of support around education that it offers to adopters and foster carers, to help children achieve their full potential at school.

The LGBT+ community now plays a key role in parenting some of our most vulnerable children in Buckinghamshire. In 2020, 1 in 6 of adoptions in Buckinghamshire were to LGBT+ parents, matching the national trend. Research suggests that LGBT+ adoptive parents are more likely to adopt older children, sibling groups, or those with additional needs and disabilities than other adopters.

David and Tom*, gay Buckinghamshire adopters commented:

“LGBT+ people have a lot of experiences that will help them as adopters. These children will grow up thinking they are different in their own way, and LGBT+ people can identify with them. People who have been through difficulties in life are well equipped to help others.”

Anita Cranmer is Cabinet Member for Children’s Services at Buckinghamshire Council. She said:

“We are thankful to everyone who expresses interest in adopting or fostering our children in care in order to give them the home and future that they deserve.

We need foster carers and adopters from a wide range of circumstances so we can match children with the right home for them, especially older children, sibling groups and children with additional needs.

“We work hard to provide exceptional support for the inspiring people who choose to foster and adopt through us. With education a top concern for many, prospective adopters and foster carers can be assured that we can offer expert advice and support to help children achieve their full potential at school.”

One element of Buckinghamshire Council’s support package, the Virtual School, works directly with schools, social workers, foster carers, parents, and young people to ensure that Looked After Children and children who have left care achieve their full potential at school.

Anita said: “The Virtual School can help schools and families navigate the educational system, including the SEN processes that a lot of children may be in. It can feel overwhelming; we step in to provide advice and attend meetings as a supportive link for families and schools.”

New Family Social, who introduced LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Support Week, is a charity run by LGBT+ adopters and foster carers for LGBT+ adopters and foster carers. Buckinghamshire Council is a member of NFS and offers free access to their services as part of its support package.

As well as support with education, Buckinghamshire Council offers foster carers and adopters regular, high quality training and online and in-person support groups. It supports adoptive families all the way, even after they’ve started life as a new family.