Providing a secure base for LGBTQ young people in foster care: the role of foster carers

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The experiences and needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer / questioning (LGBTQ) young people in care have been overlooked in England, both in policy and research. This article reports on findings from the first study of LGBTQ young people in care in England, and focuses on the nature of foster carers’ experiences and perspectives on caring for LGBTQ young people.

Qualitative interviews regarding the fostering role in caring for LGBTQ young people were conducted with a sample of foster carers (n=26) and analysed thematically. Foster carers described the importance of offering LGBTQ young people not only the nurturing relationships that all children in care need, but also availability, sensitivity and acceptance to help young people manage stigma and other challenges associated with minority sexual orientation and gender identity. The Secure Base caregiving model provided a framework for analysing the different dimensions of these relationships. Understanding caregiving roles and relationships for LGBTQ young people in care has important implications for recruiting, training, matching and supporting foster carers to care for LGBTQ young people effectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-381
Number of pages10
JournalChild & Family Social Work
Issue number3
Early online date30 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • lesbian
  • gay
  • bisexual
  • trans and queer /questioning (LGBTQ)
  • foster care
  • Secure Base model

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