All Children - All Families: Core Competencies

The competency-based training will increase the ability of an organization’s staff members to understand LGBT clients and will include issues of cultural identity, family formation and development, family law and more.

The training should ensure that participants will:

  • Be aware of their own beliefs, values and assumptions in relation to LGBT people, and will recognize how their interaction with LGBT people affects their ability to fulfill their professional roles.
  • Be comfortable with appropriate terminology relating to the LGBT community, and will understand the concepts of coming out, heterosexism/homophobia, and gender identity or gender expression.
  • Have accurate information about LGBT people and be able to distinguish common myths and stereotypes from facts.
  • Be knowledgeable about how to interact with LGBT individuals in an affirming, welcoming manner.
  • Be knowledgeable about laws relating to LGBT adoption and foster placements in relevant jurisdictions.
  • Develop empathy toward LGBT parents and will understand the value of LGBT families in serving children and youth in the foster care system.
  • Have accurate information about LGBT parents and their children - based on evidenced-based research - and therefore be able to distinguish common myths and stereotypes from facts.
  • Know concrete steps they can take to create affirming environments for LGBT foster and adoptive parents.
  • Feel prepared to adapt their parent recruitment practices to be more inclusive of LGBT families.
  • Understand the value of actively engaging their local LGBT community as partners in finding and providing qualified, loving foster and adoptive homes for children who need them.
  • Develop comfort and competency in assessing LGBT prospective parents, utilizing criteria that are warranted, appropriate and grounded in a solid understanding of the realities and experiences affecting LGBT families.
  • Develop strategies for eliminating bias against LGBT parents in the child-matching process, and will identify ways to support LGBT families while they search and are selected for the right children to join their family.
  • Feel confident in their abilities to present LGBT parents to children in a strengths-based and age-appropriate manner, and to help children manage any questions and challenges that arise from being a part of an LGBT family.
  • Understand the challenges that LGBT adoptive families may encounter at various stages of their family life.
  • Explore the intersection of LGBT issues and other issues facing adoptive families.
  • Learn how to be allies for LGBT families as they interact with birth families, other foster/adoptive families, schools and services providers related to the children placed in their homes.
  • Be knowledgeable about the resources, tools and skills needed to support LGBT families throughout their case and post-adoption.