This week is national LGBT adoption and fostering week, and Foster Portsmouth are looking to recruit new foster carers of all ages, faiths and sexuality.
The council needs more people to provide a caring home, guidance and direction to children of all ages, especially teenagers, to be the role model and inspiration they need to help them turn their life around.
There are numerous fostering opportunities available, from a stay at home full-time foster carer for a young child, to fostering a young person whilst continuing to work full or part-time. Another option, if you do not feel fostering is right for you, is providing a room and around 10 hours a week support to one of Portsmouth's vulnerable 16-24 year olds through the new "Lodgings Plus" scheme.
All the council's fostering options provide carers with excellent support, training, competitive allowances and fees. You can foster regardless of your sexuality, ethnicity, gender, marital status, whether you are single or part of a couple, whether you own your own home or are living in rented accommodation.
Individuals and couples of any sexuality can offer a loving home and support to a young person. Rory, a young person fostered by a same sex couple for the last 5 years, said "Being fostered by a same-sex couple never bothered me - it hasn't made any difference. If the same situation comes up where a young person is going to be fostered by a same-sex couple, I don't think the same-sex part matters - if they meet the needs of the young person then I don't see any reason why anyone should be worried or have a problem with it."
For more information, please visit foster.portsmouth.gov.uk, call 02392 834 071 for a chat with the team, or attend one of the monthly drop-in sessions at the council's Civic Offices reception area. Upcoming events include Tuesday, 8 March, 7pm - 8.30pm (civic offices), Tuesday 5 April, 7pm - 8.30pm (civic offices), and Wednesday 25 May, 7pm - 9pm (Emirates Spinnaker Tower, free entry).
The council is also looking for adopters for children in care of all ages, in particular people who live outside of the city, and can adopt children aged between 3-7 or sibling groups. The Portsmouth Adoption Service is running a free entry recruitment event at Marwell Zoo on Saturday June 18th that you can register for. To register your enquiry, please visit adoption.portsmouth.gov.uk or call 02392 875 294, places at the Marwell event are limited and allocated via standard selection procedures.