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I thought being LGBT excluded me from becoming a foster carer – but I was wrong

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Arsenal fan.Throughout my life, I had never had any interest in football, but his enthusiasm and passion made me curious.We started watching games together and it became a way to connect with him by discussing results, players and teams.For my birthday, I took David to Emirates Stadium to see his favourite team play.

Before we entered the gates, he pulled out a red scarf, flung it over my neck and said: ‘You’re an Arsenal fan now!’We ran up the stairs to get to our seats in time for kick off and when I saw thousands of dads with their sons of all ages, a tidal wave of emotions overcame me.I felt a great sense of pride, acknowledgment and honour to have been invited into this young man’s world.That’s the power of being a foster carer.

You might think the adults are the teachers, but it’s the children like David who have changed my life for the better.There were so many things that initially held me back from looking into becoming a foster carer.I thought that I wouldn’t be able to foster because I am a member of the LGBTQ+ community, single and was privately renting at the time.

I also always thought you would have to be Snow White or Mary Poppins – or some sort of perfect human being with no faults, who had taken no wrong turns and constantly have rabbits and baby deer jumping around you…In my mind, the list of reasons why I wouldn’t get approved as a foster carer was endless.I realised very quickly that the children are my teachers and that I am learning from them every dayBut then I saw a flyer from my local authority, Islington Council, in 2016 that busted a lot of these myths around becoming a foster carer.The flyer made me realise that in order to foster, being myself – someone who loves working with children and is.

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