All Children - All Families: Benchmarks of LGBT Cultural Competency
Agencies that demonstrate they have achieved these 10 benchmarks will be designated “Leaders in Supporting and Serving LGBT Youth & Families” and awarded the Seal of Recognition.
- Download a PDF of the ACAF Benchmarks
- ACAF Benchmarks for CASA Affiliates
- Read Testimonials from ACAF Leaders
- Interested in participating in ACAF? Get Started Today!
1. Client Non-Discrimination
a. Client non-discrimination policy explicitly prohibits discrimination based on “sexual orientation.”
b. Client non-discrimination policy explicitly prohibits discrimination based on “gender identity.”
c. Client non-discrimination policy explicitly prohibits discrimination based on “gender expression.”
d. Client non-discrimination policy is communicated to staff and clients.
2. Employment Non-Discrimination
a. Employment non-discrimination policy explicitly prohibits discrimination based on “sexual orientation.”
b. Employment non-discrimination policy explicitly prohibits discrimination based on “gender identity.”
3. Organizational Partnerships & Non-Discrimination
a. Agency employs best efforts to limit or avoid partnerships with organizations and service providers that engage in discriminatory practices or perpetuate biased policies which harm the LGBT community.
b. Agency employs best efforts to require organizational partners, collaborators or contractors to meet its own LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination standards.
4. Agency Forms
All agency-controlled forms and internal documents use LGBT-inclusive language related to family and relationship status (e.g., "partner" instead of "spouse,""parent 1" and "parent 2" rather than "mother" and "father”).
5. Staff Training
a. All agency employees (including clerical staff, top management and any other employees who have direct contact with clients) receive comprehensive training required to work effectively and competently with LGBT clients.
b. Agency social workers, managers and administrators receive role-specific training in working effectively and competently with LGBT clients.
c. Agency provides staff in-service trainings focused on supporting LGBT clients at least once a year. These trainings address specific skills in order to enhance cultural competency working with LGBT clients.
More: Staff Training
6. Staff Advocates
Agency has on staff one or more advocates for LGBT clients. This advocate (sometimes called ombudsperson or champion) is identified to all staff and clients and is charged with resource collection and dissemination, advocacy, support and intervention specifically for LGBT clients.
7. Client Advisory Boards & Community Expertise
a. Agency client advisory boards (youth and adult) or similar entities (committees, groups that regularly provide client-based feedback, guidance and advice to agency leaders and managers) include members who identify as LGBT or as allies to the LGBT community and/or demonstrate how they will engage the voice of LGBT clients and allies in a meaningful way.
b. Agency has access to an expert in competent practice and delivery of service to the LGBT community.
8. Agency Environment & External Communications
a. Visual cues throughout common areas communicate support and inclusion of LGBT resource families and/or LGBT and ally youth (e.g. posters, magazines, brochures).
b. Agency’s external communications (website, printed materials, etc.) explicitly and consistently reflect its commitment to working with and welcoming LGBT clients and their families.
c. Agency actively recruits for LGBT resource families.
9. Training & Support for Resource Families
a. Agency includes LGBT-specific examples and exercises in all family training (e.g., MAPP and PRIDE, or other similar training). Trainings are inclusive of LGBT-headed families and provide information on creating a safe and affirming environment for LGBT youth.
b. Trainers are prepared to deliver this content and create a safe space for all families.
c. Agency provides LGBT-inclusive ongoing support and education to existing resource families and other caregivers (including birth families and foster/birth siblings whenever applicable).
More: Family Training
10. Client Services & Referrals
a. Agency has in place ongoing efforts to address LGBT-inclusion and cultural competence across all services.
b. Agency identifies and utilizes a list of LGBT-competent referrals for outside client services.
c. Agency has a process in place to identify safe and affirming resource families for LGBT youth.
d. Agency has had placements/finalized adoptions with several LGBT foster or adoptive parents; and/or provided foster/adoption services to LGBT families within the past year.
More: Placement & Finalization