The LGBT community in Cambridgeshire is being encouraged to consider fostering after new figures revealed the number of children in care in England has reached a new high.
Cambridgeshire County Council is supporting the campaign led by the charity New Family Social to encourage more people to pursue a rewarding role as a foster carer with some 75,420 children in England classed as looked-after in 2018 (just over 750 in Cambridgeshire), a four percent rise on the previous year.
The charity provides support to LGBT+ adopters and foster carers.
Sherwin, 43, who lives in north Cambridgeshire, decided to become a foster carer after working with children as a one-to-one carer for children with disabilities. He also has a degree in child psychology, while he has worked in educational psychology and specialist learning. During the decade he has been a carer, Mr Cox, who is single, has raised six children, all boys.
He said: “The most important thing for me is to give the children somewhere to call home where they feel secure.
“There is no reason why potential carers from the LGBT+ community should be discouraged from fostering or adopting whether it’s a short-term or long-term placement, he added.
“My children have never had any issue with gay people, or my gay friends, or going to the Prides, nothing, they just accept people for who they are. They call me Sherwin and the boys know me as Sherwin and that is it.
He said, "there was no reason why LGBT+ carers could not go for nights out with friends; they just needed to manage their responsibilities accordingly.
“I am home with my kids in the daytime and we do lots of fun things at the weekends and I have my time with my friends. Lifestyle is not a barrier to fostering whatsoever, it is just managing it.”
Councillor Simon Bywater, Chairman of the Children and Young People committee, said: “Fostering provides an opportunity to help children to grow up and lead fulfilling and successful lives and I would encourage members of the LGBT community who are considering fostering to find out more.
“To be a foster carer you need to be over 21 and foster carers can be single, married, in a civil partnership or living with a partner. We welcome applications from people of all ethnic backgrounds and from people who have their own children, as well as those who haven’t raised children of their own. You don’t need to be a homeowner to foster.”
“There are children across the county who need your support, as well as a stable home so why not give a child a chance in life?”