The foster care role is evolving as children and young people identify their sexuality, creating a growing awareness for LGBT+ foster carers for children and young people.
Many young people in care have an ever-increasing awareness of their sexuality entering an unknown world of parenting for many foster carers. However, there is a huge demand for LGBT+ foster carers to support children and provide safe and loving homes with guidance and support children need. Especially for children identifying their sexuality and for many children seeking answers, they rely on social media to answer their questions.
Social media for children is seen as a key to the future…
The world of social media often appears to young people as the ‘key to the future.’ The oracle gives them the answers; however, it often leads children and young people to a place that may not be as it seems.
For many foster carers, this ‘parenting style’ is an unknown world and not a world in which they relate. Social media and digital technology play a huge part in children’s lives. Regardless of the best intentions, kindness and love foster carers have, they are often out of their depth.
Foster carers are supporting young people to identify their sexuality and understand who they are as LGBT+ is difficult. Equally problematic is the importance of the response we offer to young people struggling with identity.
Foster carers need ‘support networks’ to bridge this gap of LGBT+ support, now more than ever; subsequently, charities such as LGBT+ Youth in Care make a vital difference to children and young people.
‘Established in 2013 by a group of individuals working in the care system who found no resources specific to supporting LGBTQ+ youth in care. Since then, a lot has changed – but there is still further to go.’LGBTQ+ Youth in care…
‘Social media and the experts on LGBT+’
Social media has a massive impact on young people and children’s lives; often, we are unaware of the dangers it holds as adults. Additionally, some younger foster carers have grown up with social media; it is a way of life.
Equally, older foster carers will adapt and integrate Social Media into their daily lives as and when they need it. However, many older people don’t rely on it.
They prefer a blend of old communication skills and new, a world where speaking with children is the primary form of communication.
For these people, Facebook and Instagram connect us to friends or help us find information, and after a while, it gets boring, and we turn it off. For many children and young people struggling with identity and sexuality, the oracle shares its secrets for LGBT+; thus, they trust it.
However, Social media doesn’t protect young people’s secrets. It provides a sinister pathway to track and share secrets where cookies are not biscuits; They are a new best friend who feeds information to LGBT+ ‘experts;’ faceless friends offering their help.
Experts don’t live in ‘cookies’; they live in LGBT+ support networks.
The role of a foster carer is diverse. Often, foster carers don’t have the skills to support children and young people when they need it most. The answers to children’s problems don’t lie in Social media; they lie with a support network that foster carers can access when they need it most.
This network is in abundance with Not-for-Profit charities and agencies; they have great support networks and dedicated staff that understand children’s needs in today’s world. After all, ‘Experts’ are found on LGBT+ social media everywhere, and cookies share the secrets of children and young people with wild abandon.
Subsequently, the credibility of ‘experts’ and advice shared is often dangerous. This danger is impounded by vulnerable minds looking for answers for ‘feelings’ of identifying they don’t understand.
How we ‘identify’ is not how children identify.
Many people who are LGBT+ want to foster; however, they feel they won’t stand a chance. Mainly, this is perceived by how they identify and often fear being judged and the ‘label’ they will wear.
I’m afraid I disagree with this; it doesn’t; seem right because how we identify as adults is not how children identify us.
Children see people regardless of sexuality, age, colour, faith, or background. Many children in care have faced barriers, and as such, they inherently look for good people to care for them.
They need foster carers who will make them feel safe, who get them when they’re sad and want to be alone because they know it’s not personal. However, knowing you are there for these young people and understanding how they feel is best for them.
LGBT+ people have faced barriers; often, they know.
People from the LGBT+ community have faced barriers and acceptance; they understand the difficulties and obstacles when identifying their sexuality. Consequently, children need real expertise; they need people who know.
They don’t need a cookie from a social media site to lead children into a dark world, a world where they can be ‘vulnerable’.
The support for children in care from Not-for-Profit charities is diverse; the support level significantly reflects these ever-changing times. We must support vulnerable children and young people correctly, even in areas we don’t fully understand.
Collectively, sharing experiences, life experiences and mixed with the best support networks that charities offer enables young people to embrace their identity and sexuality. They will grow into confident young people with aspirations, choices, and opportunities in life; they face a positive future.
At Verve, we know the challenges children and young people face today are more challenging than ever before. Foster carers make a huge difference because of their unique life skills, either in the traditional fostering role or tech-savvy and clued up on social media.
However, skills and experiences only matter if children identify with you, making them feel safe. Foster carers, like children, come in all shapes and sizes and not in a one size fits all.
The key to a positive future is in matching foster carers with the skills and experience children need. It doesn’t matter if foster carers are gay, straight, smokers, non-smokers, homeowners or rent; the motivation to foster has to be genuine.
We need foster carers who will be the best for vulnerable children, regardless of identity or status. Can you foster?
Verve; proudly recruiting foster carers for Not-for-Profit charities.
Verve recruits for Not-for-Profit charities and agencies because we are passionate about support for foster carers and young people. The support given by Not for Profit’s is Outstanding and diverse that reflect the world in which children and young people will live.
Equally, diverse support networks give children and young people struggling with identity and sexuality access to open-minded, honest, and accepting attitudes.
This attitude is the difference in children being happy and accepting of themselves and their sexuality; they settle.
Many children in care face challenges and struggle with trust. Thus, it is sometimes easier to trust social media experts who answer, but maybe not always with the best intentions?
Foster carers make a vital difference to children and young people regardless of how you identify. Because for children who need you, you will identify just fine to them; Can you foster?
If you would like to learn more about fostering with a Not for Profit charity, please get in touch by filling in the contact form below.