Promoting a fair & effective process
Our second objective is “to ensure the value of LGBT people as new parents is understood, and that they are assessed and matched fairly and effectively”
The understanding and appreciation of LGBT prospective parents in the adoption and fostering system has improved in the past five years, but there is still much work to do. The remaining problems frustrate LGBT potential parents, but more importantly limit the number of new adopters for children.
In 2011, NFS carried out detailed surveys of 170 lesbian and gay people who have adopted since 2005, and 130 of the practitioners who worked with them. The results of the practitioners’ survey highlighted many ways in which lesbian and gay people often make ideal adoptive parents. For instance:
- 72 per cent of social workers saw the ‘amount of energy and enthusiasm’ LGBT adopters bring as a significant strength.
- 76 per cent of social workers see ‘openness to difference, and supporting a child with s sense of difference’ as a significant strength.
While it’s clear that a growing number of practitioners are reassured of our positive qualities and the good outcomes, many still lack this experience. Many instances of poor practice, and sometimes blatant discrimination, still occur. NFS is working to help bridge this gap, by sharing experiences and making new resources available.
Currently, the results of the survey above were used by New Family Social to write an important new range of advice notes, that were published by BAAF. The guides are for social workers, panel members, foster carers, birth parents and children. We also now publish a biannual magazine that allows us to shares good practice and real-life experiences from around the UK.
We work to make the training that’s available for practitioners more accessible and have future plans to help agencies by:
- Assisting with filling vacancies for adopters / foster carers in their area, to incase the diversity of panels.
- Providing full reports of statistics and detailed performance ratings from our members.