Paul and Dean
Dean and I have been together for 10 years and have a birth child. We decided to become foster carers because we had a friend who was fostering and as we became closer friends and spent more time with the children she cared for, we started providing what you call ‘back up’ care.
During our relationship we had always known that fostering was something we wanted to do, it was just a matter of when we were going to start our fostering journey. When Dean was 25 years old and I was 26 years old we decided to make an enquiry with the agency our friend fostered with.
Our birth child was 10 years old and understood what it meant to foster having spent time with our friend and so was open to the idea of us becoming a foster family.
We have cared for over 8 children in the last 5 years and provided respite, short term, long term and emergency care to children. We’ve cared for children of varied ages from 3 years old up to 18 years old and have also provided support to teen parents.
During the process and as foster parents we had prepared for some level of discrimination being a same sex couple however, throughout our 5 years as foster carers we have been shown nothing but respect and professionalism by the families of looked after children and professionals that we have worked with at Capstone Foster Care.
Sometimes children’s situations or circumstances prior to coming into care can mean that a child or young person can associate a certain gender with trauma. Some children can find this difficult to manage so it can be in their best interest to go into a household where there is not a mother or father type figure.
We take pride in promoting gender equality, teaching children through our actions that there is no gender typical roles for us within our home. Dean and I both cook, clean, provide care and promote independence and helping others to the children we care for. There are no male or female roles, we all work together to achieve goals, and this is the message we promote to the children.
We would definitely tell others to consider fostering as a way of supporting vulnerable children. I am keen to work with the agency around LGBTIQA fostering as lots of people assume because they are in a same sex couple, they may not be suitable to foster but this is not the case.