This post comes from Rob Woronoff, MS, Child Welfare Consultant and All Children – All Families Certified Trainer.

On Friday, February 1, 2013, EMQ FamiliesFirst joined the growing ranks of public and private child welfare agencies to receive the HRC All Children – All Families Seal of Recognition, designating the agency a “Leader in Support & Serving LGBT Families.” 

While EMQFF may not have been the first private agency in California to earn the seal, it is certainly the largest to date. Headquartered in Campbell, California, EMQFF has offices throughout much of California. They provide a broad range of services to children, youth and families in numerous counties throughout the state, including foster care and adoption services, family preservation and therapeutic services, residential treatment and school mental health services.

On February 1st, I had the privilege of presenting the seal to EMQFF president and CEO Darrell Evora who spoke about his agency’s commitment to the safety, health, and fair treatment of LGBTQ children, youth and families. The seal award event was quite festive -- there was even a cake decorated with the image of the All Children – All Families seal!

EMQFF staffer Jennifer Debutts coordinated the almost year-long effort to attain the seal and she acted as emcee for the event which was attended by numerous EMQFF staff members and community representatives. Also in attendance were staff members from the Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children’s Services, the first public child welfare agency in the nation to issue a policy on the needs of LGBTQ youth in care. They continue to work in close association with EMQFF to ensure the safety of all children, youth and families involved with the child welfare system.

All Children – All Families National Advisory Council member John Ireland represented ACAF’s programmatic partner Raise A Child and later met with EMQFF staff to begin to map out plans for expanding EMQFF’s outreach efforts to prospective LGBT foster and adoptive parents.

The event was a rousing success as EMQ FamiliesFirst took another in a long line of steps as a leader in efforts to ensure that all children and families who walk through their doors are welcomed and treated with dignity and respect.

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