Post submitted by Paul Guequierre, HRC Deputy Communications Director
The National CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Association, a network of 933 programs that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom and other settings, has turned to HRC’s “All Children All Families” (ACAF) initiative to help increase volunteers’ LGBT cultural competency.
CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.
A recent podcast from National CASA, called Increasing LGBT Cultural Competency, features HRC ACAF consultant Tracy Flynn. Flynn talks about the HRC’s work helping child welfare organizations improve their recruitment and retention of volunteers and to enhance the LGBT cultural competency within the child welfare system.
The LGBT community has made great strides toward equality under the law, but part of moving forward is strengthening families. With two major victories at the Supreme Court last week, we must address the needs of children lingering in the foster care system who are looking for a loving forever home. HRC’s ACAF initiative can help. Check out how at http://podcast.casaforchildren.org/increasing-lgbt-cultural-competency.