Barnsley Council is spreading the word that it’s people’s personal qualities that make them a great foster carer – not their gender or sexual orientation.

Like many other people from all walks of life, Barnsley residents who are lesbian, gay, bi or transgender, may be wondering if fostering is something they can do. The answer is a resounding yes. 

Subject to all the usual checks and processes, there is absolutely no reason why someone from the LGBT community cannot foster. 

Barnsley Councils’ Fostering Service has received enquiries from LGBT households and hopes that this week’s national LGBT Fostering and Adoption week will encourage even more.

Michael and Paul Atwal-Brice (pictured) have provided care for over 20 children in their 10 years of fostering. Eight years has been spent fostering for Barnsley Council, providing short term care for 11 children including sibling groups up to eight years old.

Michael said: “We’ve provided short term care for some brilliant children before they have been adopted. We have stayed in touch with many of the families and often meet up with them.

“We have our own two boys who get really well with the young babies, toddlers and children we look after.

“There’s lots of support from all the other carers and our social worker is great. We’ve both benefitted from all the training on offer, including completing diplomas. There are plenty of opportunities to improve your skills.

“I’d recommend fostering to anyone, but it would be great to see more LGBT fosterers providing Barnsley care for Barnsley children.”

People who would like more information about fostering can call Kerry on 01226 775876.

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