All Children - All Families: Agency Staff Training

Filed under: Adoption, Parenting

Proper training is a key element in the creation of a competent staff. Training programs should offer all incoming and current staff the information and skills they need to provide culturally competent services to LGBT adoptive and foster parents.

All Children – All Families has identified core competencies related to LGBT clients to be fully incorporated in staff training systems. The competencies include basic LGBT training and role-specific LGBT training topics.

Basic LGBT Training

All personnel should be trained on the core elements of  LGBT cultural competency, a “101” type training that provides an overview of the language and terminology associated with the LGBT community; explores the  concepts of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression; distinguishes myth from fact regarding the real experiences of LGBT individuals and families, and illuminates personal bias that may be interfering with professional responsibilities. This baseline training will be delivered in a minimum of three hours, and will emphasize the agency’s commitment to placing a high value on the LGBT community as a resource for children and youth in foster care and all children in need of a permanent family.

Role-Specific LGBT Training

Based on their role in the agency, staff members will need to have 3 additional hours of in-depth, role-specific training related to creating unbiased, affirming environments for LGBT foster and adoptive parents, best practices for recruiting and retaining LGBT parents, impact of relevant laws, and the matching, homestudy or placement process.

Continuing Education/Training

Maintaining your agency’s core LGBT competence is important. When an agency, public or private, faces a higher than 20% annual turnover, it is expected that the basic LGBT Training and the role-specific LGBT training will be provided to new hires and to those staff who experienced reallocation or reassignment.

Consider formal and informal options for training; in addition to annual cultural competence training when there are enough new hires (partnering with other agencies can make this cost-effective), incorporate LGBT “lessons-learned” into weekly staff meetings, case reviews, or individual supervision to keep a dialogue going and to identify and address emerging issues and needs. Invite your LGBT foster/adoptive parents to speak to your staff, or invite a local expert on LGBT family law to speak. Create and distribute one-page information sheets with information about LGBT laws and policies, research or news items, or updates about agency procedures and experiences  to provide an informal approach that is cost effective, while keeping staff informed and up-to-date.

  • Core Competencies
    Competency-based training increases an organization’s ability to understand LGBT clients and includes issues of cultural identity, family formation and development, family law and more
  • All Children – All Families Training Curriculum
    All Children – All Families has developed a five-part training program that can be customized for the needs of individual agencies.

Read more in the Promising Practices guide.

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