A disproportionately high number of LGBT youth are in foster care, many having been abandoned by their families due to their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. These youth continue to struggle as they enter the child welfare system, where agency staff members often lack the skills and knowledge to provide them with the services they need and deserve.
An estimated 2 million LGBT adults are interested in adoption in the U.S. But, the LGBT community is often an untapped resource when it comes to finding families for children and youth in foster care. Agencies can significantly increase their pool of prospective foster and adoptive parents by ensuring they have the policies and practices in place to welcome and support LGBT resource families and recruit effectively for these families.
For these reasons, the National Adoption Center will be offering a region-wide one-day training next month to promote LGBT cultural competency among child welfare agencies. Adoption organizations across the country have recognized the importance of this work and use it to improve practice with LGBT youth and families.
All Children – All Families, a project of the Human Rights Campaign, will provide the training so agencies can achieve safety, permanency and well-being by improving their practice with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth and families. Participating agencies can work to meet ten key Benchmarks of LGBT Cultural Competency – from client non-discrimination policies and inclusive agency paperwork, to staff training and creating an LGBT-inclusive agency environment. Once these benchmarks are met, the agency is designated a “Leader in Supporting and Serving LGBT Youth and Families” and awarded the All Children – All Families Seal of Recognition. The
National Adoption Center was the first organization in the region to receive this seal and this is the second time NAC has offered this training.
The National Adoption Center is pleased to be able to offer this training at no cost thanks to the generous support of Wells Fargo.