All Children - All Families: Family Training
Parent preparation training delivered by or required by agencies should include LGBT-headed families as examples throughout the training, just as they include examples of other types of prospective families, such as single parents or transracial families, as well as discussion of LGBTQ youth in care. Exercises and language should be inclusive and all trainers should be skilled in creating a safe and affirming atmosphere for LGBT prospective parents.
All agencies, even if they do not provide placement services, must provide LGBT-inclusive and supportive information or services. Staff must also 1) provide information regarding: laws affecting LGBT adopters, LGBT community references and family groups for social/community connection and/or 2) match LGBT families with staff who have proven experience working with LGBT families/children.
Using MAPP & PRIDE Programs
The common parent preparation programs are Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (MAPP) and Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education (PRIDE). See www.cwla.org/programs/trieschman/pride.htm.
Neither program fully incorporates LGBT-headed families or issues related to LGBTQ youth in care into the curriculum and exercises. If your agency uses one of these approaches, you can easily alter the language and exercises to include all families and youth. If specific LGBT content is not formally included in training for families, consider adding an addendum to the training. If you outsource the parent training, check in with the trainers to ensure that they have a policy of inclusion.
Ideas for LGBT-Inclusive Addendum to Standardized Family Trainings
An addendum should include the following:
Guidance for trainers on how to address any direct or indirect homo-/bi-/transphobic remarks that come up in the class. This guidance should include:
- Tips for creating an LGBT-friendly environment.
- Instructions that any negative remarks should not go unaddressed and the person making the remarks should be held accountable.
- Information for the trainer on how to best support families targeted by negative remarks.
- Sample exercises that use LGBT families as the focus.
- Sample exercises that use LGBTQ youth in care as the focus.
- Information on using inclusive language (e.g. Using "parents" rather than "mom/dad").
- Instructions for organizing an LGBT parent panel.
- Reaching Higher: A Curriculum for Foster/Adoptive Parents and Kinship Caregivers Caring for LGBTQ Youth (National Center for Child Welfare Excellence)
- Resource Guide: Caring for LGBTQ Children & Youth (HRC)
- LGBTQ Children & Youth in Child Welfare (National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections)
- LGBTQ Resources for Child Welfare (HRC)
Read more in Promising Practices Guide: Parent Preparation Training [PDF]