Fostering Connections, Victoria’s foster care recruitment service, will be teaming up with our allies in the LGBTQIA+ community for this Sunday’s Midsumma March. We will be proudly marching in support of the right for sexuality and gender identity to be recognised, respected, and celebrated, in all settings, including in foster care.
As a joint initiative of foster care agencies across Victoria, Fostering Connections works to address Victoria’s supply shortage of foster carers. We do this by raising awareness of the role of foster carers, the ongoing need for carers, and by providing Victorians with information about foster care and how to become an accredited foster carer.
Children and young people in foster care come from a variety of backgrounds and many identify as LGBTQI+. Foster carers can play a significant role in creating a positive space for children to begin to understand their sexuality or gender identity. When children and young people are supported and accepted for who they are, studies have found that their wellbeing, mental and physical health outcomes are significantly improved.
Fostering Connections is reaching out to members from across the community to get involved and show their support, and warmly encourages members of the LGBTQIA+ community to consider becoming foster carers. Foster carers from diverse communities can help ensure children and young people are provided the support, connection and understanding they need to grow and thrive.
Reggie Chang has a lived experience of foster care and is an active member of the LGBTQIA+ community: “As a young person who lived in foster care during my adolescent years, I felt valued by my carers when they understood and supported me in my queer journey with an open heart.
“I believe kids in foster care need diverse foster carers, especially ones that understand the implications of being queer and questioning your identity during your tumultuous teenage years. Today, I recognise that the support I received as a teenager helped me understand who I was during these critical years, and helped form who I am today.”