All Children - All Families: Training Curriculum

Filed under: Adoption, Parenting

The All Children – All Families initiative has developed an expert LGBTQ competency training program that can be customized for the needs of individual agencies.

Interested in All Children - All Families training opportunities? Visit here to learn more!

An Introduction to LGBTQ Competency for Child Welfare Professionals

This critical session in the All Children–All Families training series equips child welfare professionals with a comprehensive foundation of knowledge on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals and their experiences within the child welfare system. Participants will learn key concepts and terminology related to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE). Research findings on LGBTQ-headed families -- including demographics and outcomes for children raised in LGBTQ families -- and the prevalence and experiences of LGBTQ youth in foster care will be explored. The session concludes by outlining the steps every child welfare professional can take to welcome and affirm LGBTQ youth and families within the walls of their agencies and beyond.

Objectives:

  • Explore shared values as professionals in child welfare and the connections between LGBTQ competency and these values
  • Understand licensing body/professional association expectations and mandates re: LGBTQ competency
  • Consider the relevance of SOGIE in service delivery and SOGIE within the context of individual well-being and that of families, community, and society
  • Improve understanding of appropriate terminology related to the LGBTQ community
  • Distinguish between sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, and explore the limitations of a binary construction of gender
  • Learn to respond to clients who identify using unfamiliar terminology
  • Explore diversity of transgender community
  • Acknowledge own beliefs, values and assumptions in relation to LGBTQ people and build awareness of how personal bias may impact work with clients
  • Explore common experiences of LGBTQ people, including coming out as a lifelong process, the risks and gains of coming out and the impact of family response on well-being
  • Gain accurate information about LGBTQ youth (e.g., identities, experiences and strengths) and distinguish common misconceptions and stereotypes from facts
  • Gain accurate information about LGBTQ parents (e.g., prevalence of LGBTQ parenting, outcomes for children of LGBTQ parents, experiences in child welfare) and distinguish common misconceptions and stereotypes from facts
  • Learn laws related to LGBTQ adoption and foster placements in relevant jurisdictions
  • Develop a greater understanding of the strengths of LGBTQ parents and the value of LGBTQ families in serving children and youth in the foster care system
  • Learn behaviors and language to avoid in order to create a welcoming environment for LGBTQ youth and families, including hetero-centric or cissexist language
  • Identify concrete next steps for advocating for and improving practice with LGBTQ youth and families

Best Practices for Serving LGBTQ Families

This session in the All Children - All Families training series outlines the essential agency policies and practices that are welcoming to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) prospective parents. Trainers explore the role of unconscious bias in working with diverse families and outline specialized parent recruitment strategies for LGBTQ individuals and couples. Specific, practical suggestions for how to conduct non-biased, LGBTQ-competent home assessments and confidently engage in discussions with children about being placed in LGBTQ-headed families are explored. The session concludes with helping agencies navigate challenges and pitfalls in the process of matching LGBTQ parents with children awaiting families.

Objectives:

  • Explore the impact of unconscious bias when engaging LGBTQ foster and adoptive parents
  • Understand where applicants typically fall off in the process and the importance of creating positive “first/early contacts” with prospective families
  • Consider the role of data collection around SOGIE with parent applicants, including questions of how, when and why to collect this information
  • Learn strategies for LGBTQ-inclusive parent recruitment practices
  • Understand the value of actively engaging their local community as partners in finding and supporting an expanded pool of qualified, loving foster and adoptive homes for children who need them
  • Use case studies to explore scenarios that could arise during early interactions with LGBTQ foster/adoptive parent applicants in preparation for navigating similar situations in real life
  • Develop comfort and competency in assessing LGBTQ prospective parents utilizing criteria that are warranted, appropriate, and grounded in a solid understanding of the realities and experiences affecting LGBTQ families
  • Use case studies to explore scenarios that could arise during the homestudy process with LGBTQ foster/adoptive parent applicants and to feel better prepared to navigate similar situations in real life
  • Increase capacity to present LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ family
  • Develop strategies for eliminating bias against LGBTQ parents in the child matching process, and identify ways to support LGBTQ families while they search and are selected for the right children to join their family

Best Practices for Serving LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care

This session in the All Children - All Families training series provides child welfare professionals with a deeper understanding of the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth today with an emphasis on the three pillars of child welfare: safety, permanency, and well-being. Research demonstrating the over-representation of LGBTQ youth in care as well as disparities they experience -- including higher rates of bias, harassment and violence, as well as a higher likelihood of being placed in congregate care settings -- will be explored.  These experiences are brought to life in educational videos written and produced by LGBTQ youth. Participants will practice the skills necessary to provide LGBTQ youth with the care they need and deserve, including talking about topics related to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression (SOGIE).

Objectives:

  • Become familiar with existing resources that address the needs of LGBTQ youth in care
  • Examine diversity of LGBTQ foster youth and explore ways to engage them with respect to the multiple identities and challenges they face
  • Learn the legal rights of LGBTQ foster youth
  • Become acquainted with research on LGBTQ youth risk and protective factors
  • Consider the role of data collection around SOGIE with youth, including questions of how, when and why to collect this information
  • Practice using appropriate language and accepting behaviors with LGBTQ youth through role plays and responding to video presentations
  • Gain a greater understanding of the impact SOGIE can have on foster youth safety, including the experiences of bullying, harassment and violence for LGBTQ youth in care
  • Gain a greater understanding of the impact SOGIE can have on foster youth permanency, including: helping families identify (accepting/rejecting) behaviors that impact a child’s experience, and identifying and developing safe, affirming, family-based placements for LGBTQ youth
  • Gain a greater understanding of the impact SOGIE can have on foster youth well-being, including: how to incorporate the concept of “normalcy” in our care for LGBTQ youth, how to uphold LGBTQ foster youth rights to improve their experiences from “surviving” to “thriving”