Recruitment, assessment, support and supervision of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender foster carers

This review of international research was undertaken to consider the following questions:

What is known about the effective recruitment, assessment, support and supervision of LGBT foster carers?

• What can fostering services do to improve the quality of the recruitment, assessment, support and supervision of LGBT foster carers?

Key Messages – what we found out – recommendations (pdf)

Electronic databases and websites covering the international literature were used to identify 20 published papers (covering 19 studies). Those identified were from the UK, USA and Australia. Comparisons across countries are subject to limitations of different cultures and services. Most of the research exclusively about LGBT foster care, rather than research that merges fostering and adoption, has developed in Australia where, in contrast to the USA and UK, adoption is rarely the chosen option for permanence for children in public care.

Studies identified for the review were published since 1996 and were all written in English. Most of the studies focused exclusively on the perceptions of established foster carers’, less often on perceptions of social workers and one included young people’s perceptions. The studies used a range of methodologies from in-depth interviews and focus groups to larger scale surveys using questionnaires. Study samples ranged from 1 to nearly 400. No studies were identified in the review that included interventions subjected to evaluation using comparison or control groups. Most studies adopted a retrospective design, seeking the perspectives of established carers.

Helen Cosis Brown, Judy Sebba and Nikki Luke, Feb 2015

PDF Recruitment, assessment, support and supervision of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender foster carers.

Download the review

Authors: Helen Cosis Brown, Judy Sebba and Nikki Luke

February 2015