New foster care agency matching LGBTQ+ kids with queer carers to become ‘their amazing, wonderful selves’

Family of two dads and one child, to illustrate a story about foster care

A new foster care service has been launched to help match LGBTQ+ young people with supportive carers and families in the South East of England.

Apex Q, a service from agency Apex Fostering, will help encourage more LGBTQ+ foster carers, provide training and create more placements for queer children.

Apex Fostering, which covers north and east London as well as several southern counties, including Hertfordshire, Essex and Cambridgeshire, launched in 2021 and claims to have already placed more than 60 young people with foster families. 

“We want to make sure that every queer young person has a home where they feel safe and loved, where they can be supported to become their amazing, wonderful self,” said Apex Fostering’s chief executive, Sali Walker, a lesbian who grew up in care.

“Being a foster carer is an amazing thing. It makes you feel like you are doing something to protect the next generation and help them flourish,” she added.

The agency helps prospective carers – whether as a family or a single person – through a process of assessments and checks to be matched with a child.

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‘A home is a home’

LGBTQ+ children are “disproportionately represented” in the care system, according to Apex, with queer kids reportedly making up the majority of the homeless population under the age of 18.

According to homelessness charity Crisis, 77 per cent of LGBTQ+ young people gave “family rejection, abuse or being asked to leave home” as a cause of their homelessness.

Ricardo and Bradleigh, a gay couple from Essex who recently became foster parents, previously told PinkNews that despite fears of judgment over being LGBTQ+ parents, fostering children has been a rewarding journey.

Ricardo said: “A home is a home… it doesn’t matter if you’re a man and a man, a boy and a girl.

“[The child] just needs stability… just needs care. It just needs routine. That’s all the children need.”

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