Lyn Hope’s Story

Archived: Posted February 28, 2017

I’ve been a single foster carer with Foster Care Associates (FCA) for almost two years now. I’m 41 years old living in the Cynon Valley in Cymru South and openly gay.

For many years I’ve felt that I had missed out on the chance of having children. Two years ago I reached a point in my life where I needed to have more of a purpose for living, and through fostering I could provide a safe and loving environment for a child or young person in need.

A few years back I noticed an FCA article on the BBC website whilst I was at work. At the time the agency was working with Stonewall and this really encouraged me in terms of their credibility. FCA also pointed out that being gay, and in particular single, should not be seen as a barrier to fostering and the process began from there.

I was incredibly apprehensive to start, I was really worried about being judged and being told that I wouldn’t be suitable for fostering, however these myths were cleared up straight away. FCA discussed my circumstances briefly and a home visit was arranged. I remember feeling so nervous before the visit not knowing what to expect but Rebecca, a representative from FCA was incredibly reassuring. We discussed the reasons for me wanting to take this big step and she gave me quite a lot to think about, things which I hadn’t even considered. We went through various scenarios which made me look at things more seriously as there is nothing more important than a child’s life and safety.

Becoming an LGBT foster carer with FCA

Rebecca seemed to believe in me, more than I believed in myself and from there my journey began. I was allocated an external assessor who visited every couple of weeks and helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses. In a nutshell she gathered information that would provide a snap shot of who I was and what I stood for.

Obviously being openly gay presented a number of questions for me. I wondered about what people would think? How the child placed in my care would react? What other children would think and how this might impact my placement? The list went on and on. Once again though FCA and my assessor had nothing but kind words and reassurance.

Going through to panel was such a great feeling. I felt that although I was a single, gay male I could still make a difference, and that none of this mattered when it came to the needs of a child or young person.

Within a few weeks my first placement arrived.  A 14 year old lad stayed with me for four days for respite care. I still remember one of our first conversations. He asked me where my wife was I replied: ‘’I don’t have one’’ he then asked if I had a girlfriend? I reiterated that I didn’t have one. Finally he asked me if I was gay, I responded saying ‘’Yes I am, is that going to be a problem?’’ And he concluded the conversation replying: ‘’No it’s not a problem at all I know lots of gay people.’’

Later that afternoon we went Go Karting and had a great weekend, so much so that he wanted to come back and visit again. This was a really inspirational conversation to me, an example of how attitudes have changed nowadays.

Just two days before Christmas that same year a 10 year old boy was placed with me on more of a long term basis. It was the best Christmas gift I could ever have received. He was a typical 10 year old boy. Playing with his Lego or on the Play Station. We’ve had out ups and downs and yes it can be challenging but children are.

This newly found family environment that was now my life was incredible and I enjoyed every minute of it. My friends and family were really supportive too, so much so that it encouraged my best friends to foster too. The experience has totally changed our lives.

If you’re a gay couple or single, and you can offer your time to a young person don’t let any myths stop you. Being gay makes no difference what so ever, when it comes to the ability of looking after and caring for a child or young person. FCA are an excellent agency when it comes to support and training, as well as working with the LGBT community.

It’s so rewarding to see a real difference you have made to the life of a young person in need of support. Just go for it.

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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  • 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.
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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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