Arizona Adoption and Foster Care Agency Earns “All Children – All Families” Seal of Recognition
January 20, 2012 by Ellen Kahn, Director of the Children, Youth & Families Program
Yesterday I had the honor of presenting the All Children-All Families seal of recogniton to Devereux Arizona at a lovely event in Tucson. Devereux is a national organization based in Pennsylvania, established in 1912--if you are doing the math you realize that this is the 100th anniversary of Devereux, and the 45th anniversary of their Arizona organization.
In addition to the 40 staff people at the celebratory event, there were about half a dozen LGBT-headed families who turned to Devereux because there was no other agency in the area that was truly welcoming of the LGBT community. One couple shared that they had been misled and treated quite insensitively by another Arizona agency, and it was Devereux that reached out to them and helped them reset their goals for adoption. That couple is now proudly raising a beautiful 15 year old girl who might otherwise not have a family to call her own.
Lane Barker, the executive director of Devereux Arizona, accepted the seal of recognition, and said that Devereux Arizona is happy to be the pioneer in Arizona, and hopes that others will follow. There are currently 11,000 children and youth in foster care in Arizona, and in just the last few years since Devereux opened their doors to the LGBT community they have licensed 50 LGBT-identified adults, and 20 children have been adopted by those families. Just imagine if other agencies in Arizona follow the lead of Devereux how many children and youth will also find their forever families.
I am grateful to the leadership team at Devereux for their boldness and intentionality in choosing to earn the All Children--All Families seal, particularly in an era of a very conservative state legislature. We know that many Arizona families will also applaud Devereux, and may take that first step to foster or adopt now that they know an agency is there for them.
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