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  • 18 Jun 2021 09:21 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It seems fitting this month, to alert you all to the new pop-up Virgin Radio station, Pride UK. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT+) station broadcasts a mixture of music and LGBT+ relevant programmes. It'll run right over the summer, from now until late September. It airs pieces often close to us. It'll discuss trans-equality, gay adoption, and being bisexual in 2021. There's content for our wider friendship network too. The station aims to help families understand issues affecting LGBT+ people.

    The diverse programming includes music, documentaries and interviews. It was developed to raise awareness and reduce social inequality. LBGT+ hosts and guests will create on-air spaces to discuss issues faced by LGBT+ people.

    The station's collaborating with Pride events right across the UK. Programmes will cover live events where possible, and virtual events too. This helps us all to support and enjoy these events. Childcare responsibilities or covid restrictions won't be a barrier to the station.

    There are lots of ways you can listen in:

    · You can listen online 

    · You can listen on the Virgin Radio App, which is free to download

    · You can ask Alexa or Google Home device to 'play Virgin Radio Pride UK'

    There's also permanent LGBT+ stations you can check out, like Gaydio UK. They play lots of music and also have podcasts. These podcasts cover topics including fostering and an interview with same-sex adopters. Yvonne and Natalia discuss their adoption approval and matching process as they await the arrival of their children.

    · You can listen to the station live at gaydio.co.uk

    · You can catch up on its podcasting online 

    We all know how important self-care is. It can be to difficult achieve at times. ‘Attending’ a Pride event - listening to an article -can form part of your self-care for the day. Allow yourself five minutes out of your busy day to listen, laugh, and relax.

    However you and your family choose to celebrate, have a happy Pride month.

  • 19 May 2021 11:05 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Fostering Network wants the whole fostering community, from foster carers to fostering services and care experienced children and young people, from fundraisers to campaigners, and everyone in between who cares about the lives of children in care to step up and tell the world #WhyWeCare.

    Charity Diagrama is delighted to be part of Foster Care Fortnight. It is encouraging people who may like to explore the idea of fostering to think about contacting them to find out more about this rewarding career.

    Margaret Gardiner, Fostering and Adoption Team Manager, Diagrama, said:

    'One of the side effects of the pandemic is that Diagrama is receiving more referrals than ever for children needing safe and secure placements. We need to increase the number of children we can support and are looking to train new foster carers across London and the south east to help with this demand. If you are interested in finding out if fostering might be the right career choice for you, please do contact us or sign up for an online information event.'

    Find out if fostering might be the career for you, at a Diagrama online information event.


  • 4 May 2021 16:14 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ‘I’m not eating THAT!’

    Sound familiar?

    On 20 April our LGBT+ adopter and foster carer members met to talk and share ideas about food, their children and fussy eating.

    Here are their top tips, courtesy of Riley and Ric from our membership team:


    Does your child refuse to eat?

    1. Try to chill out about it. They won't starve themselves, so don't worry too much.

    2. Ask yourself questions to help you consider the reasons why they refuse to eat. Is it about control? Is it a result of early trauma? How were they weaned? Were they neglected? Was food a source of security, or was it risky to consume?

    3. Hide fruit and vegetables in cake! Various members said their children had learned to like certain foods by trying it first baked into a cake.

    4. Write it down - keep a list of foods your child will eat. Hopefully you'll be able to watch it grow.

    5. If something's working - keep doing it! Don't worry if it's different from what you expected or what your friends do with their kids.

    Does your child take and hide food?

    1. Do they eat everything they take? Or do they hide it without eating it? Some kids feel safer if they know there’s food in their room.

    2. Make sure there’s food available that can help themselves to if they're hungry.

    3. Keep calm when they tell you they've taken something or you find the evidence.

    4. Cooking and shopping together can help kids feel more in control

    5. Make food playful - can they catch a grape in their mouth? Can they guess the crisp flavour?

    Does your child struggle with their behaviour at meal times?

    1. Think about their emotional age, not their chronological age. Do they need to be fed? Do they play with their food like a baby or toddler?

    2. If you're out and about, try having them sit on your lap instead of in their own seat.

    3. Do what your child needs, not what you think you "should" make them do. Some children need to bounce on an exercise ball while they eat. Other children eat better if they have music playing during meals.


  • 6 Apr 2021 15:55 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Looking for the latest statistics on adoption or fostering by LGBT+ people in the UK? If you're one of our Bronze, Silver, Gold or Orange members you can log in and check out each country's stats, below:


     



    England

     



    Scotland

     



     Wales

     


     

    Northern Ireland


    Need to access the stats? You can create a free Bronze membership in a matter of minutes.

  • 6 Apr 2021 09:50 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Diagrama is urging members of the LGBT community to considering becoming foster carers after a spike in demand

    There's been a much publicised and dramatic surge in the need for safe and secure homes for children during the pandemic. The charity Diagrama is keen to hear from those who might want to consider a career in fostering.

    Margaret Gardiner is a Fostering and Adoption Team Manager and a Foster Carer for Diagrama. She shares her personal insight into fostering in this film.

    Children who need to be fostered come from a range of different backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities. Sometimes they are babies or infants. Often they are older children. Some will be on their own, but others will be part of a family group. Some will have special needs or disabilities; others will have less obvious needs.

    Diagrama supports and empowers their foster carers to provide homes which enable children to feel safe, secure, attached and inspired – where they’re safe and can start to enjoy life again.

    Find out how you could make a huge difference to a child’s life by becoming a foster carer with Diagrama by visiting its website. Or you can call the Diagrama team on 0800 802 1910

    Alternatively, why not attend a Diagrama online fostering information event by registering via Eventbrite?


  • 1 Apr 2021 09:05 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New Family Social’s census was taken between 21 -27 March. It asked the charity’s LGBT+ members at different stages of their adoption and fostering journey to anonymously share data including their identified sexual orientation, gender identity, geographical location and more.

    The full report is accessible to our registered members at Bronze/Silver/Gold/Orange levels. Simply follow this link, log in and you’ll be redirected to it.

    You can also quickly register for a free Bronze membership and access the report, our directory of agencies that provide dedicated support to LGBT+ adopters and foster carers and our information session finder tool.


  • 9 Mar 2021 11:13 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mothers' Day is coming up soon - 14 March -  in the UK. Now is a good time to think about how you - and your children's school/nursery - are going to handle it. 

    Some schools and nurseries don't observe Mothers' or Fathers' Day at all. Instead, they celebrate family in other ways through the year. But most schools will mark both days with special activities. Planning ahead will give you time to decide what will work for your family and get the school on board. 

    Cards and craft activities 

    Making a card for Mum is a classic Mothers' Day classroom activity, which can upset kids. With a bit of planning though, everyone can feel included. Here's some options: 

    • Make one card for both mums, or a card each 

    • Make a card for a grandmother/aunt/other female relative 

    • Make a card or two for both dads - even though it's mothers' day 

    • Make a card for the foster carer(s) 

    • Make a card for a special person of the child's choice 

    • Make a card for/to think about the child's birth mum 

    Check with school that they're not using pre-printed templates or very gendered crafts. You may decide that your child should skip this activity and have some special time out of class instead. 


    Lesson plans about diverse families 

    Many schools also hold lessons about family at this time of year. It's a great opportunity for them to show different kinds of families. There are some lesson plans available online which you can share with the school/nursery: 

    "Love makes a family" display – make an art display featuring all the different families  

    "Stella brings the family" – based on a popular book about a girl with two dads 

    "All about my ____" questionnaire – a good replacement for the “All about my mum” activity 

    "Who lives with you" – a simple house origami for the children to draw inside 

    The Family Book circle time – a lesson plan for very young children based on Todd Parr’s popular book 


  • 1 Mar 2021 08:06 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Campaign calls for LGBT+ people to consider these  routes to ‘Build Your Family’ 

    Call to build on 2020 record of LGBT+ people adopting

    LGBT+ people in the UK are urged to explore adoption and fostering as potential parenting routes in a campaign launching today (1 March). With 80,000 children in care in 2020 in England alone, LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week brings together agencies and LGBT+ possible applicants. The campaign is led by charity New Family Social, with support from some 70 agencies - representing more than 80 local authorities - across the country, from Belfast to Brighton. 

    Build Your Family – the campaign theme – helps LGBT+ people view the adoption and fostering assessment process in easy stages. The campaign starts by showcasing LGBT+ parented adoptive and foster families. 

    Tor Docherty, New Family Social Chief Executive said: ‘Record numbers of LGBT+ people now adopt or foster. The urgent need for more to do so hasn’t disappeared in the pandemic. The assessment process can still take place, despite lockdown and restrictions. If you’re LGBT+ it’s as good a time as any to find out how you can build your family through adoption or fostering.’ 

    Since the campaign started in 2012, the number of same-sex couples adopting reached 1 in 6 in England in 2020, a record in both its proportion and total figure. In the same period 1 in 5 adoptions in Wales were to same-sex couples and 10 per cent of adopters in Northern Ireland were same-sex couples. 

    LGBT+ people can find out more about their fostering and adoption options at newfamilysocial.org.uk/afw21/ 


  • 23 Feb 2021 10:32 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month, the charity Diagrama is keen to remind prospective adopters that they welcome all applications regardless of age, faith, sexual orientation, ethnicity or whether you are single or a couple.

    Jason and Eric, from Catford, became parents to a son called Toby - this is their story:

    'Eric and I always dreamed of having children but never really thought it was a possibility and assumed that the closest we would get was being uncles or godparents. We knew that we had so much to offer a child who may not have had the best start in life and that adoption was the best way forward for us.

    We were pleasantly surprised by how straightforward the adoption process was. We saw an information event advertised by the charity Diagrama and instantly felt that they would be the agency for us.

    The comprehensive training we received helped us to identify our parenting styles and values and gave us great insight into the needs that an adoptive child may have. We immediately felt that our appointed social worker understood us as a family and had a clear picture of the type of child we were looking for. Nine months after attending the initial information evening, we were approved as adopters and began the journey to become parents.

    Although the process of finding our child felt long and frustrating at times, it actually only took five months. Our social worker supported us throughout and kept us positive by reassuring us that it was a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ we would find the right child to adopt.

    We read a profile of a little boy called Toby and submitted our interest and were delighted when his social workers asked to meet us. The meeting went well and once they agreed that we were a good match, we got to hear more about Toby and went to meet him at his foster carer’s home. The first meeting was a bit daunting but exciting and he won us over with his charm and humour immediately.

    We spent a few months getting to know Toby before he moved in and when he first came home with us, we all enjoyed a wonderful honeymoon period, but as he settled and felt increasingly comfortable around us, we faced a more challenging time. There were occasions when he would become distressed and angry and he had a few meltdowns, but our social worker really helped us get through these times. The support and training we’d received was invaluable in enabling us to understand Toby’s needs and how we could support him. We started to realise what the triggers were for his behaviour and how we could try and avoid them. It was just Toby’s way of testing the boundaries and to find out what would happen. He needed to know that he was safe and loved by us no matter what and that he could trust us.

    We are now much better at spotting the signs – we can usually resolve issues quickly without things escalating but I won’t deny it ... parenting can be exhausting!

    Looking at Toby now it is difficult to imagine that he is the same boy who had such a sad start to life. He has shown true resilience and we are proud beyond words! Our families and friends love him to bits and we only ever hear positive things, from school and the clubs he attends about how kind and helpful he is.

    Having same-sex parents hasn’t really been an issue so far for Toby – in fact, he loves telling anyone who will listen that he has two dads! We do sometimes worry about how we will be perceived, but we are lucky to have a very diverse network of friends and Toby appreciates that everyone is different and deserving of respect. We’ve explained to Toby that what is important is the love within your family not who we are. Staff at his school have been very welcoming and supportive too. We’ve only ever experienced one problem when another parent made a comment but the Headteacher challenged it and reinforced the point that the school is inclusive and respectful of everyone’s differences.

    Like any family we have our up and downs, but the rewards of parenthood are priceless. We feel blessed that we have such an incredible son with whom we share so much joy, love and laughter. He is the centre of our universe and we love being able to support and guide him as he grows and witness the progress he makes. He has made our lives complete.'

    Diagrama welcomes all adoption enquiries regardless of age, faith, sexuality, ethnicity or whether you are single or a couple – to find out more visit its website 

    The stats: In the last two years 15.7 per cent  - or 1 in 6 - of Diagrama’s approved adopters were in a same-sex relationship.


  • 21 Feb 2021 15:36 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week returns from 1-7 March 2021.

    This year's theme is Build Your Family with each day of the campaign dedicated to explaining a different part of the assessment and approval process.

    (Work for one of our member agencies? All the collateral for the campaign for our member agencies is available from a dedicated section on this website, accessible to staff working at our member agencies. You'll need to hold a free Orange membership to log in and access it)

    For agencies that don't hold a New Family Social subscription for 2020/21, there are some resources below that can be used to support the campaign.

    General social media slides

    Campaign theme - Children [Facebook slide]

    Campaign theme - Children [Twitter slide]

    Campaign theme - Rainbow Heart [Facebook slide]

    Campaign theme - Rainbow Heart [Twitter slide]


    Statistics to support the campaign

    facebook slides

    Same-sex couple adoption statistics England 2020 [Facebook slide]

    Same-sex couple adoption statistics Scotland 2019 [Facebook slide]

    Same-sex couple adoption statistics Wales 2019 [Facebook slide]

    Same-sex couples as percentage of adopters in Northern Ireland in 2020 [Facebook slide]


    Twitter slides

    Same-sex couple adoption statistics England 2020 [Twitter slide]

    Same-sex couple adoption statistics Scotland 2019 [Twitter slide]

    Same-sex couple adoption statistics Wales 2019 [Twitter slide]

    Same-sex couples as percentage of adopters in Northern Ireland in 2020 [Twitter slide]


    More resources will be added to this post as the campaign nears


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