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17 September 2021

Foster carer urges others to find out more about fostering at Cumbria Pride

Cumbrian foster carer Ali Faulkner-Luke is urging couples and individuals from the LGBT community to find out more about the parenting routes open to them during Carlisle's annual Pride event next weekend.

Ali said: “Fostering has been the most rewarding experience ever and if you are thinking of fostering then speak to the council’s fostering service and make a difference. It’s the best thing you’ll ever do!”

Ali and her wife Ang, who live near Ulverston, have been fostering for two years. They are approved as short-term foster carers for children under the age of three.

Ali added: “We wanted to draw on our skills and experience as teachers to nurture and support children. We weren’t sure whether we would be suitable for fostering and whether we had what it takes but the support we’ve received right from the first phone call, to moving on our first child, has been incredible.”

The council’s fostering service is running an information stand at Cumbria Pride, which takes place on Saturday 25 September at Carlisle Castle from 12pm, offering those thinking about fostering an opportunity to speak to our friendly team and local foster carers.

Carlisle foster carer,Kevin Kerr, said that fostering was a way for him and his partner to have a family of their own: “We wanted to be foster parents basically to have children in our loves. It was our way of having a family, being a same sex couple.

“We were the first same sex couple to foster in Cumbria and we’ve been accepted as would any other family. It’s been a really positive experience, fostering is definitely a way of life rather than a profession; like any parents our life revolves around the children. This is just a different way of having children in your life.”

The council’s fostering service already supports around 275 fostering households but with close to 725 children needing foster families, there are still many children in care whose lives could be transformed by an LGBT foster carer.

Rosie and Claire Crewdson-Price, from Egremont, are parents to two boys aged 15 and 22 and were approved as foster carers for our Adolescent Care Team (ACT) last year. ACT foster carers support teenagers in residential care to step down from residential back into a fostering 'home' environment.

Rosie said: “We started thinking seriously about fostering when our eldest son left home. Claire had always wanted to foster and we’d had a bit of experience looking after my brother’s foster children too, which really got us thinking.”

Claire said: “We applied to foster two years ago and were quite surprised at how easy the approval process was. They do lots of checks and there is a lot of training; we did Skills to Foster training and also some specialist ACT training, then we went to panel last May and got our first placement a couple of weeks later.”

To become a foster carer you must be over 21 and have a least one spare bedroom in your home, as well as the time and commitment to make a difference in a child’s life.

Cllr Anne Burns, Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services, said:“At Cumbria County Council we welcome applications from the LGBT community and would ask those who think they may have what it takes to speak to our team at Pride. We know from experience that same sex couples can be excellent parents and have so much to offer children who are waiting for a family.”

The Pride event is free but is a ticketed event and you can request tickets on the Cumbria Pride website at cumbriapride.org.

Find out more about fostering at cumbria.gov.uk/fostering or call us today on 0303 333 1216


Ang and Ali


Kevin Kerr at the fostering stand at Skelton Show


Rosie and Claire

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Cumbrian foster carer Ali Faulkner-Luke is urging couples and individuals from the LGBT community to find out more about the parenting routes open to them during Carlisle's annual Pride event next weekend.