More and more foster care and adoption agencies are expanding their resources to support LGBTQ youth, the Associated Pressreported.
“Historically, the experience was often grim for them (LGBTQ youth): Many were rejected by their own families, then encountered prejudice, harassment and abuse when they shifted to a foster home,” the AP explained.
In some areas, the tide is now shifting in favor of LGBTQ youth. Cities and states, as well as local agencies, are instituting new reforms.
“Efforts to tackle such problems have gained momentum across the U.S., but with varying success,” the AP continued. “Officials in some areas say the most sweeping institutional reforms, even though desired, may only come slowly.”
There is more work to do to support LGBTQ youth and families in foster care and adoption. An important part of this work is ensuring that foster families are prepared and willing to provide affirming environments for LGBTQ youth in their care.
“If you know a family is not quite ready to be affirming, you could spend time with that family, educating them. It doesn’t mean you can’t license them,” Ellen Kahan, Director, Children Youth and Families Program, told the AP.
HRC Foundation’s All Children – All Families project promotes LGBTQ cultural competency among child welfare agencies. The program uses innovative resources, including an online agency self-assessment tool; comprehensive staff training and free technical assistance to support child welfare agencies.
This month, HRC is proud to celebrate National Adoption Month. National Adoption Month is a nationwide effort to bring awareness to the thousands of children and youth in foster care who are currently waiting for a permanent family and to recognize adoptive families around the country. Learn more about National Adoption Month here.