Washington– The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, announced today that the New York Council on Adoptable Children (COAC) earned the All Children—All Families seal of recognition. COAC finds permanent families for children with special needs in the New York City foster care system. The non-profit organization is receiving the All Children—All Families seal because it has successfully met the required criteria for fully inclusive policies and practices in working with the LGBT community. The Human Rights Campaign’s All Children—All Families initiative provides a comprehensive framework for agencies to establish policies and practices that welcome, support and affirm LGBT foster and adoptive parents
“It is an honor to receive the seal from the All Children—All Families initiative of the Human Rights Campaign,” said COAC Executive Director Ernesto Loperena. “We look forward to continuing and expanding our work with LGBT families who have proven to be an excellent resource in providing permanent homes for children in our foster care system.”
Loperena also serves on the All Children—All Families National Advisory Council.
“COAC has done tremendous work in connecting loving LGBT parents who have opened their hearts and homes with children who are in need of permanent families,” added Ellen Kahn, HRC’s Family Project Director. “Their work is a commendable example of how we can and must seek all qualified adults, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, to insure we can find forever families for the thousands of children and youth in foster care. We welcome NY COAC into the community of child welfare organizations that, each day, are creating more loving families for children by removing barriers to qualified LGBT adoptive parents.”
The seal of recognition will be presented in Albany this Friday, May 11th at the 23rd Annual Foster Care and Adoption Conference sponsored by the New York State Citizens’ Coalition for Children. More information about the schedule of events can be found online at http://nysccc.org/conference/2012-conference-family/.
The “All Children – All Families” initiative, launched in 2007, promotes policies and practices that welcome LGBT foster and adoptive parents. The program seeks to enhance LGBT cultural competence among child welfare professionals and educate LGBT people about opportunities to become foster or adoptive parents to waiting children. To date, ACAF has over 50 participating agencies across the country, and has awarded 18 seals of recognition. Last year HRC launched a “50 state strategy,” with the goal of securing at least one ACAF-recognized adoption agency dedicated to working with LGBT families in every state. More information about the initiative can be found at www.hrc.org/acaf.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.