Jade and Jayne’s Story

Archived: Posted February 27, 2017

“Absolutely do it.  We thought we may experience stigma or be marginalised as LGBT foster carers but we absolutely haven’t.”

Jayne and Jade Papps from xx in Gloucestershire have been approved foster carers with Foster Care Associates (FCA) for two years.  As a same sex couple they haven’t felt that their relationship status has held them back in their dream of becoming foster carers, and being able to provide a warm loving home, to nurture, help grow, support and advocate for young people.  

Talking about how they began their fostering journey Jade said: “Jayne and I have always been very maternal and have always wanted to work with or have children and young people in our lives, so to us fostering felt right.  We knew we could make a really positive difference to young lives by providing consistency which is so important as many of the young people we have looked after have suffered neglect, or a lack of attachment to parental figures which has resulted in a lack of childhood.    

“We looked at different agencies online and FCA stood out to us. We initially attended a local authority fostering introduction day, but we did not feel the same positive supportive atmosphere we encountered when meeting with FCA and therefore we chose this agency.”

Jayne and Jade have a close relationship with their family, and it was their thoughts and opinions which were paramount in the couple’s final decision to become foster carers.  Jade said: “Before we made the final decision to become foster carers we talked it through with everyone close to us.  We were fully supported by both of our families, and they have continued to support us with the young people that we look after. They are proud of us for having a selfless duty of care for children and young people.      

“To be honest, we have been very lucky not to have suffered any negativity as a result of becoming foster carers and our sexuality.   It’s important that Jayne and I surround ourselves with positive people and positive influences.     

“We also haven’t yet had a child who has had an issue with us being a lesbian couple. In fact, in our experience, many of the young people we have staying with us on respite want to come back and stay with us again, they enjoy their time with us and are very open to same-sex carers.    We have had less issues with the foster children and their birth families who we have contact with, albeit not regularly, than the inquisitive nature of our own nieces and nephews who often ask questions about us being two women.”  

How FCA helped us

The couple welcome the extensive support offered to them by FCA.  Jade said:  “We have received excellent support from our agency, I know I can call on my supervising social worker when I need her. They hold regular carers meetings which is run by carers and not dominated by professionals.  We feel this is very important, to be able to sit with other carers to share our worries and stories with those who can relate first hand sometimes deeper than a professional.

“However in the wider world some people still hold heterosexist views on parenting and therefore we believe that LGBT foster carers need to be prepared for this.  There is historical discrimination within legislation and policies which has caused stigma and this needs to be alleviated.  Also, the young people may hold views that challenge the views held by the carers in terms of their sexual orientation and we believe that the children as well as the carers need to be prepared to openly discuss each other’s views as the young person will need to be made aware of negative discrimination for when they become an adult.”

Finally Jade and Jayne offer some positive encouragement to anyone who has ever considered becoming a foster carer but not yet made the first step.  Jade said:  “Absolutely do it. You must do what you desire to do.  We thought we may experience stigma or be marginalised as LGBT foster carers but we absolutely haven’t.

“Being foster carers brings us so much joy. Helping to nurture and grow a child, whilst building their resilience and confidence, gives us such a sense of enjoyment. I can honestly say it is the best and most rewarding thing we have ever done.

“There are times when we are faced with difficulties but with the support from our families, wider networks and professionals it really help us to overcome these difficulties. The training programmes are superb which really helps us understand some of the behaviours of the young people we care for.

“We have been carers only two years but feel like we have made positive differences to these young people’s lives even in this short time.”

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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