Post submitted by J.P. Regis, HRC Children, Youth & Families Program Manager
With 2016 officially behind us, HRC’s All Children – All Families (ACAF) team is taking a look back to highlight key updates and recently developed resources from the past year.
With this year marking ACAF’s tenth year serving the child welfare field, we are thrilled to continue working with our participating agencies to break down barriers in adoption/foster care. The ACAF team was excited to have several new Leaders receive their Seal of Recognition, including ACAF’s first Leaders in Texas and Kentucky. Check out our list of participants to see all of the agencies around that country that have made a commitment to serving and supporting LGBTQ youth and families.
All Children –All Families’ training program continues to push the field forward when it comes to LGBTQ competency. In 2016, ACAF offered dozens of trainings to more than 600 participants, including training efforts in Maryland. The program completed its first training of facilitators; establishing the capacity of a large private agency to implement ACAF training to the rest of its staff across the state of Florida. In 2017, ACAF will continue to train child welfare agency staff who work directly with LGBTQ youth and families in care.
This past year, ACAF’s blog highlighted the LGBTQ community’s experiences in adoption and foster care. This past May, for National Foster Care Month, we joined FosterClub in launching the #FosterEquality campaign, sharing the stories of LGBTQ youth in foster care. In November for National Adoption Month, we shared the stories of a trans parent adopting in Florida, and a same-sex couple in California's experience fostering a trans young person. Stay tuned to ACAF’s blog for more great content in 2017.
Over the course of the year ACAF also released new expert web-based resources for participants. These included best practice tips such as this page on LGBTQ-inclusive referrals. We launched our Field Forward Webinars, new FAQs on ACAF participation and staff training, and an expanded list of the most current LGBTQ resources for child welfare professionals. Feel free to share these with your network.
In the New Year, the All Children – All Families team looks forward to continuing our work to achieve safety, permanency, and well-being by improving practice with LGBTQ youth and families.