We need to recruit 10,000 foster carers – from a range of different backgrounds – if every looked-after child is to receive the right placement.
However, when men and same-sex couples express interest they continue to encounter suspicion about their motives – and often face long waits before receiving placements.
Fear of paedophilia is leading to conservatism in placements. And last year’s Wakefield Council case, in which social workers failed to prevent the sexual abuse of children by two gay foster carers because they feared accusations of homophobia, will have reinforced this.
It’s time to move practice on. Family dynamics are changing rapidly, with more men becoming primary carers.
Looked-after children will benefit from more men, whatever their sexuality, being given an opportunity to care – as long as we dismiss political correctness, support them properly and monitor them with equal vigour.