All Children - All Families: Organizational Partnerships & Non-Discrimination
Agencies that use private contractors to deliver services should ensure that all contractors abide by non-discrimination policies for LGBT prospective parents and have procedures that reflect that commitment, from recruitment through long-term support after placement or adoption finalization.
For example, many large public agencies use private contractors to deliver some or most of their adoption and foster care services. Contracts between the public agencies and these private vendors set service delivery requirements. Changes in public agency policy or procedure need to be reflected in the work of these private contractors to be meaningful for resource families and waiting children.
The ease of altering or amending contracts varies by jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions may have short-term contracts, while others may review and renew contracts only every 10 years. Some contracts include clauses that require contractors to abide by any new policies and procedures enacted by the public agency, while other contracts are more limited in scope.
All Children – All Families has identified the following best practices in working to ensure non-discrimination policies extend to organizational partnerships:
- Conducting educational or advocacy activities for LGBT-inclusive and affirming practice among organizational partners and collaborators
- Including in contracts with service providers specific requirements that the contractor implement LGBT-inclusive and affirming practice
- Including in contracts explicit mention of non-discrimination statement, and/or
- Requiring service providers to sign a separate non-discrimination statement with every contract.
If agencies handle homestudies, post-placement services/counseling and/or other adoption-related services, they must provide LGBT families with any referrals to known LGBT-welcoming facilities and professionals.
Sample Policy Language:
Northwest Resource Associates, Seattle, WA, "Agreement for Purchase of Personal Services"
- Northwest Resource Associates ensures that all organizations it contracts with agree to comply with all applicable Federal, state and local nondiscrimination laws as well as their own nondiscrimination policy. This policy includes protections for persons regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
Adoption Options, Aurora, CO, "Interagency Agreement"
- Adoption Options believes every child deserves a safe and loving home and embraces diversity and inclusion. This policy's definition of diversity includes sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, stating that no one will be turned away on the basis of these reasons. This policy applies to all Adoption Option employees, volunteers, members, clients, and contractors.