A man from West Sussex says being gay hasn’t been a barrier to him becoming a foster carer.

We’ve been speaking to Marco at the beginning of LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week.  Officials are trying to get more people from the LGBT community thinking about looking after a child. An information session is being held tomorrow (Tuesday 9 March) in Horsham for people to find out information and ask questions. Peter Evans, County Council Cabinet Member for Children – Start of Life, said:

“Our foster carers and adoptive parents come from a variety of backgrounds and they are all treated with the same care and respect as they go through the adoption or fostering process – regardless of their marital status or sexuality. “Quite simply, we are looking for people who will be good parents. People who are patient, energetic, with a good sense of humour and who will treat children and young people as individuals, whilst being able to maintain boundaries and provide the security our children need.”

Marco from the Horsham area fosters with his partner. He says:

“The assessment process was very thorough and thought provoking. It made us think about our lives and what we were trying to achieve with fostering. By the end of it we felt more confident about our decision and better prepared to face the challenges. “Our first placement started two months after we were approved as foster carers. Although by that point I had tried to make myself prepared by reading books and attending trainings, I still hadn’t experienced it in reality. With time it felt more natural and I have received a huge amount of support from West Sussex County Council throughout the process. “It is a life-changing job – you need to be dedicated, flexible, patient and make yourself available. It feels very rewarding when your foster child start making progress and gains confidence and resilience. If you think you have what it takes, you should definitely consider fostering.”