ROTHERHAM Council is backing a national call for more people to come forward and become adopters or foster carers.
Next Monday marks the start of the second annual national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Adoption and Fostering Week, organised by New Family Social.
National groups say they believe that if more LGBT people came forward to foster or adopt they could help make up the national caring shortfall. Currently it is estimated that 4,000 children need adopting every year, and an extra 9,000 foster carers must be found.
Locally, there are more than 400 looked after children and adoptive families are needed for around 50 youngsters. Recent figures released as part of a Government national recruitment campaign showed that Rotherham was one of over 30 areas across the country (including three in South Yorkshire) where more than 48 children are awaiting adoption placements.
To link with LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, Rotherham MBC has organised two information events which are open to all:
Adoption - March 5, 6pm to 8pm, Rotherham Holiday Inn
Fostering - March 7, 6pm to 8pm, Maltby Leisure Centre
These events will give people the chance to meet carers and those who have already adopted, including members of the LGBT community, with the Council’s fostering and adoption team.
Coun Paul Lakin, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Young People’s Services, said: “Like every other area of the country we’re always on the lookout for more people to come forward and provide caring homes for young people who need that support.
“We’re delighted to be able to support this national campaign and would encourage anyone who is interested in fostering or adoption to get along to these events and find out more.”
Andy Leary-May, director of New Family Social, added: “Some people are still put off by fears that they won’t be welcomed by agencies, but things are changing. In our group we have a huge and diverse range of families, including plenty of parents who are single, or in their fifties. It’s clear to see how well our children are doing, and what a positive and rewarding choice fostering and adoption can be.”
For more information please visit www.rotherham.gov.uk/fostering or www.rotherham.gov.uk/adoption