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  • 12 Jan 2022 15:49 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Some tips and tricks for getting childcare experience that’ll benefit your application and family finding

    Childcare experience demonstrates your ability to meet a child’s needs. Experience with children is essential to your application for adoption or fostering.

    Tips for gaining childcare experience:

    • Ask friends and family
      Probably the simplest solution, look after children of your friends and family. They get a free babysitter. You get the experience you need. Social workers are keen to see routine or overnight care for children. This could be a weekly pick-up from school or babysitting while the parents are out of town for the weekend.

    • Volunteer for community groups
      Volunteer for local community groups such as pre-schools, churches and parent-toddler groups. Try after-school clubs, reading schemes or even become a mentor (although this tends to be for older children). Volunteer centres can help you find suitable volunteering experience. Find your local centre by searching ‘Volunteer Centre’ and the name of your area, e.g. ‘Volunteer Centre Leicester’.

      Due to the COVID pandemic, a lot of schools reduced the amount of visitors allowed indoors. Consider volunteering for sports and activity clubs held outdoors. These could be forest schools, scouts, gardening, etc.

    • Similar age-range
      Aim to look after children in the age bracket you hope to adopt. This demonstrates an understanding of the mental and physical development a child of this age might have.

    • Similar family structure
      Find families with a similar LGBT+ structure to yours. Spend time with these families and children to gain an understanding of the dynamic and children’s knowledge of family. This also helps you build a support network of familiar families for when you grow your family.

    • Spend time with other looked-after children
      Spending time with other adoptive families or groups for looked-after children helps you gain an integral understanding of looked-after children. This gives you can idea of the types of needs and difficulties your own child could have. However, if a child is still in care, you can’t look after them without their foster carer remaining present.

    • Children with additional needs
      Caring for children with additional needs requires certain skills. Having experience in this can benefit your decision-making process. It can help you work out whether you could meet the needs of a child with additional needs. If so, this experience can demonstrate to the panel and family finders that you’re the best carer for a child.

    • Contact agencies
      Talk to your agency about the best way to gain childcare experience. Often agencies run in-house activities you can volunteer at. Events like family fun days or stay and plays could be a great opportunity to gain that vital experience.

    You can also volunteer at our annual New Family Social summer camp. Lots of families attend and it's a great place to access some childcare experience.

    Contact us for information


  • 11 Jan 2022 11:09 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New Family Social's annual campaign to encourage more LGBT+ people to consider adoption and fostering will return on 7 March. This year's theme is Be The Change to highlight the children and young people LGBT+ people make a difference to when they adopt or foster.

    If you're an Orange member of New Family Social and work for one of our member agencies you can find out more by registering for this event after logging in to the site.

    (Not an Orange member, but work for one of our member agencies? You can also apply for this membership through the website)

  • 20 Dec 2021 11:25 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    If you need support for you or your family urgently - and don't require the emergency services - the following contacts may be useful :


    Social services support

    Find your local council 


    Support following domestic violence or abuse

    GALOP – specifically for LGBT+ people who've experienced abuse and violence


    The NHS


    Advice and understanding

    LGBT+ Helpline


    LGBT Helpline [Scotland]


    LGBT+ Cymru Helpline


    Mindline Trans+


    The Samaritans


    Need to report a hate crime or incident?

    Stonewall 


  • 8 Dec 2021 14:21 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There’s a lot to say about adopting and fostering in the UK. There’s even more to talk about when you add being LGBT+ into the mix. Over the past year, we’ve heard plenty from our community. They’ve shared the challenges they face, their wise words and inspirational resilience.

    These are the most popular and most downloaded episodes of Adoption, Fostering & Tea released in 2021.


    Parenting traumatised siblings  Available since July 07, 2021

    Professional psychotherapist – Nino – discusses and analyses his own experience of adopting three children with trauma. Tor and Nino discuss the ways in which trauma can manifest in children and how that can affect parenting.


    The Great Behaviour Breakdown  Available since March 24, 2021

    Adopter Kate talks about her experience of attachment difficulty with her 10-month-old daughter. Kate talks about how she felt rejected by her daughter in the beginning and how she handled it.


    'We weren’t allowed in the foster carer’s house' Available since March 17, 2021

    We talk to Jasper about his experience of adopting during lockdown. Jasper talks about the difficulty in bonding with a child whilst maintaining social distance and parenting for the first time during the pandemic.


    A really wonderful family life together Available since March 03, 2021

    Nancy – CEO of LGBT+ charity Stonewall – chats about her transracial adoptions, expectations of having a family and how adapting is so important. She also discusses her nervousness of doing or saying anything wrong to social workers as a lesbian couple.


    We’ve just adopted siblings Available since April 21, 2021

    Stuart and Simon talk about adopting siblings after 10 years of being together. They talk through their assessment process, how it compares to birth parents’ experiences and why they decided to adopt siblings.


    There's many more episodes of Adoption, Fostering & Tea. Log in to see the full back catalogue. Please note, you’ll need a membership to listen to the full range. Join as a Bronze member for free.


    Want to get involved?

    Share your experience with us. If you’re an LGBT+ adopter or foster carer, we’d love to hear your story. You could inspire and encourage many other LGBT+ people along their family-making journeys. If you’re interested, please contact us using this form. 

    You can also support the podcast by with your cold, hard cash. If you're able to make a donation, please do. It helps us to keep bringing LGBT+ people's stories to the wider world, inspiring others to parent our country's must vulnerable children.


  • 19 Nov 2021 11:40 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Wales sees ‘problematic’ tumble in LGBT+ people granted adoption orders over the same time

    Coronavirus' impact on the adoption sector was clear this week with the publication of statistics for 2021. Adoptions in England fell to 2,870 in 2021, from 3,440. The number of same-sex couples adopting also fell, but the proportion of the total number remains the same, at 1 in 6.

    Also this week the Welsh government released its statistics. These reveal the numbers of adoptions by same-sex couples tumbled to 35 in 2021, from 55 in 2020. The total number of adoptions in Wales in 2021 fell to 265 – from 295 in 2020. This slide disproportionately affects LGBT+ adopters. Not only was the total number of adoptions by same-sex couples in Wales the lowest in five years, the proportion dropped to 1 in 8 – where in 2020 it was 1 in 5.

    Tor Docherty, Chief Executive of New Family Social said: ‘It’s reassuring to see adoption agencies in England maintaining their commitment during the pandemic to assessing and matching LGBT+ potential parents with vulnerable children.’

    ‘The fall in adoptions in Wales by same-sex couples in 2021 is problematic. We know some adoption agencies in the country say that 1 in 3 of their adoptive families this year are LGBT+. They are the exception to the rule, as the statistics show. New Family Social's concern is that in Wales - during the pandemic - the broadest range of potential parents weren’t recruited as adopters. It's also unclear if the pandemic led to some Welsh adoption agencies prioritising ‘traditional’ family structures and adopters - both in assessment and matching adopters with a child.’

    New Family Social - the UK's charity for LGBT+ adopters and foster carers - will reach out to adoption agencies in Wales to understand why the situation changed during the pandemic.

    LGBT+ people in the UK interested in adopting or fostering can find out more on the charity's website.

  • 17 Nov 2021 10:42 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The number of same-sex couples adopting in Wales fell to its lowest in five years, according to new statistics from Stats Wales. The figures - published in November - reveal that just 35 adoptions in 2021 were to same-sex couples. This is the lowest number since 2016, when 20 took place. In 2020, 55 adoptions in Wales were to same-sex couples.

    In total there were 265 adoptions in Wales in 2021. LGBT+ people accounted for 13.2 per cent of adoptive parents in the statistics – or 1 in 8. This proportion is also a drop from 2020, when 1 in 5 adoptions in Wales were to same-sex couples.

    The figures are the first released by any country in the UK to cover a full reporting year affected by COVID.

    Tor Docherty, New Family Social Chief Executive, said: ‘The turbulence of the pandemic may explain the drop in adoptions in 2021. But the dive in the numbers of same-sex couples adopting is very worrying. We know from previous years that LGBT+ people play a key resource in the pool of adoptive parents.

    'The needs of children awaiting adoption are paramount. Agencies need to ensure they consider the widest possible range of potential parents. LGBT+ people can and want to adopt in Wales. New Family Social will reach out to agencies in Wales to identify why the figures dropped in 2021.'

    New Family Social members can log in and read the latest statistics for 

    England

    Scotland

    Wales

    Northern Ireland

  • 11 Nov 2021 15:17 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As part of Fyne Times' Diversity Issue, New Family Social was invited to pen a double paged-spread on legal and social progress for LGBT+ equality over the past twenty years.

    Read the piece online



  • 22 Oct 2021 09:24 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Across England there's a huge shortfall of parent and child foster carers with Kent based charity Diagrama currently receiving twice as many referrals as two years ago

    The charity is concerned that with the number of referrals for parent and child foster placements at an unprecedented level, it urgently needs to fill this shortfall by finding and training new carers for this rewarding role.

    Parent and child fostering provides a helping hand to vulnerable parents to develop and learn the key skills needed to raise their child. A parent and child foster placement is provided for mothers and or fathers who are unable to look after their child or children by themselves. The parent or parents and their child or children move in with their appointed parent and child foster carer to gain the practical skills and support needed to help them develop their childcare skills.

    In some cases where there are serious concerns regarding either the parenting of the child or the parent's ability to safeguard the child, and our foster carers can provide them with the practical skills and support needed to help them develop their childcare skills.

    The age of the parents and children can vary, and they may need placements for various reasons including domestic abuse, trauma, or substance misuse. Families may be in the court system and the parent and child foster carer will contribute to the assessment of the family through written daily notes.

    Margaret Gardiner from Diagrama, said, 'Parent and child placements are varied and are often not a straight teaching or assessment placement but a mixture of both. The Diagrama team recognises the complexity and diversity of this type of placement and know the importance of recruiting skilled and experienced professionals as parent and child foster carers. You can be assured that the team will give you expert support throughout every stage of your fostering care. We're currently experiencing a twofold increase in demand and are very interested in talking with previous foster carers, social workers, teachers, midwives, police officers and health officers who are particularly well-suited and may have the skills we need for parent and child fostering.'

    If you're interested in learning more about parent and child fostering, visit the Diagrama website. 


  • 20 Oct 2021 15:07 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    What experiences are approved adopters having with regional adoption agencies? A new report published today - 20 October - by the Department for Education makes interesting reading.

    Read the report online

  • 18 Oct 2021 15:55 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    To mark National Adoption Week in the UK  - 18-24 October - New Family Social will hold an introductory webinar to adoption for LGBT+ potential applicants.

    The webinar - on 20 October - is free to attend and LGBT+ people can book onto it via the website




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