Throughout the month of May, HRC will be celebrating National Foster Care Month to raise awareness around children and youth in foster care.
Research has shown that LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in the foster care system – many having faced family rejection around their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. We also know that while in care, LGBTQ youth face higher rates of harassment, disruptive placements and trauma than their non-LGBTQ peers.
Affirming foster families can make a world of difference for LGBTQ youth who need and deserve support. LGBTQ foster parents are in a unique position to provide that affirmation. Unfortunately, many agencies aren’t yet intentionally welcoming qualified LGBTQ applicants through their doors. We already know that LGBTQ people are successfully raising children all across the U.S. – many having adopted through foster care – but the LGBTQ community can be engaged even more.
Thankfully, HRC’s All Children - All Families (ACAF) program trains child welfare professionals to support LGBTQ youth and parents, helping them to achieve safety, permanency and well-being for all youth in foster care. The ACAF program offers trainings, technical assistance and innovative tools including an agency self-assessment process and online learning.
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Check back with HRC’s blog throughout the month as we celebrate National Foster Care Month. Join us in sharing your stories and raising awareness about the needs of LGBTQ foster youth by using the hashtag #FosterEquality.