Dan’s story

Archived: Posted April 25, 2016

Foster carer DanSingle foster carer Dan lives in Birmingham and has been fostering with Foster Care Associates for just over a year. Here he talks openly about his experience as an LGBT foster carer. You can also watch his recent interview on ITV Central News!

“I think everyone’s journey into fostering is different but in my case after being a manager in hospitality for a long time I felt I needed a new challenge in my career.

“At the time there was a major campaign in Birmingham for foster carers and adoptive parents. My dad and step mum had just become approved foster carers and had a young person placed with them, so we had a chat and discussed their feelings towards fostering which was highly positive. After a lot of thought, I searched online and found Foster Care Associates.

“Soon after my initial enquiry a lady called Kate came out to see me at my own home, I was impressed with what she had to say, with the company in general and in particular the support offered to carers. The assessment process started there and then!

Foster with pride - ITV central interview

“I have had only positive support from friends, family and ex-colleagues, and was told by them that if anyone could foster it would be me. I have been known in scouting in the local district for a number of years and they all ask how I’m getting on and if it’s the right time for my young people to join their local scout group.

“I receive more than enough support from Foster Care Associates which offers specific dedicated team members that any foster carer can go to if they have any challenges, including therapists, education support and project officers to name a few. In addition to this, and as a relatively new carer, I have my own mentor who has been a foster carer for over ten years who calls me from time to time to have a chat and to see how I am coping.

“We have a support group every month where the agency social workers can relay any information that is needed as a group. I also attend Reflect group where we as foster carers can go over anything that we may find difficult. This is where the agency therapist supports us as foster carers through difficult times with advice. But where would I be without my supervising social worker? Over the last year, she has become part of my family, supporting me every step of the way from dealing with referrals all the way through to saying goodbye to the child.

“FCA is a big believer in Team Parenting. Over time I have built up my own supportive network of foster carers around me with different skills. In addition we have support from CYP workers who are there to support foster carers to participate in essential training ranging from paediatric first aid through to child and young person mental health.

“FCA has an extremely positive attitude toward sexuality and discrimination. If there was ever a case where I felt discriminated against then I know I can discuss this with my supervising social worker at the agency.

“My current placement has actually come from a loving lesbian family and does not care whether I am gay or straight, he is more concerned about who I am as a person and getting to know me. If it was different I would let the child or young person ask as many questions as they needed to, and would answer as truthfully as possible, as discrimination is mostly down to not having correct knowledge about the person or situation.

“I do have regular contact with birth parents and family. To date I have had no problems regarding my sexuality. If anything, I have had positive comments in the way I look after and care for their children.

“Fostering can be extremely rewarding but not without its difficulties, that is why we receive so much extensive training. In my opinion there is nothing more rewarding then seeing a child or young person smile for the first time, or achieve in education because you have supported them.

“To sum up my year in fostering I won’t lie there has been heartbreak and frustration but the positives more than outweigh the negatives. Yes I’m a single gay male foster carer but this does not define me, and thanks to my incredibly supportive fostering agency I have had the chance to help and support young people.”

And if you think you could foster like Dan, please get in touch.

How can we help?

Ready to start fostering a child or young person? Or just want a bit more information to help you decide whether fostering is for you? All you need to do is contact us.

Phone us

Call us on 0800 023 4561 (lines open Monday - Thurs: 9am - 7pm, Fri: 9am - 6pm)

Fostering a child or young person is a big decision so we're here to answer any questions you may have. Our friendly fostering advisors, many of whom are carers themselves, can talk you through everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer.

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Phone us

Call us on 0800 023 4561 (lines open Monday - Thurs: 9am - 7pm, Fri: 9am - 6pm)

Fostering a child or young person is a big decision so we,re here to answer any questions you may have. Our friendly fostering advisors, many of whom are carers themselves, can talk you through everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call me back

Haven't got time to chat now? Leave your details and we'll call you back at a time that suits you:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Why do we need this? So we can email you a brochure.
  • Why do we need this? We appreciate that starting to foster is a big decision that needs careful consideration and you are likely to have questions. We’d like to help answer those questions.
  • Please enter your postcode to see news and events in you area
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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