Resources

All Children - All Families: Training Curriculum

The All Children – All Families initiative has developed a three-part training program that can be customized for the needs of individual agencies.

Interested in All Children - All Families training opportunities? Email acaf@hrc.org to learn more!

Day 1: Basic LGBTQ Competency for Foster Care & Adoption Agencies

This critical first session in the All Children–All Families training series is designed to introduce child welfare professionals to accurate and up-to-date information about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals. Participants will achieve basic competency with the community, including an understanding of terminology and experiences relating to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE). This session also will help participants develop a specialized understanding of LGBT-headed families, including LGBT family demographics, the legal landscape surrounding these families, and what makes them similar to and unique from non-LGBT families.

Objectives:

  • Participants will improve their understanding of appropriate terminology relating to the LGBTQ community, and will explore common experiences of LGBTQ people.
  • Participants will learn to distinguish between sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
  • Participants will acknowledge their own beliefs, values and assumptions in relation to LGBTQ people, and will build awareness of how personal bias may impact their work.
  • Participants will have accurate information about LGBTQ people and be able to distinguish common myths and stereotypes from facts.
  • Participants will be knowledgeable about laws relating to LGBT adoption and foster placements in relevant jurisdictions.
  • Participants will develop a greater understanding of the strengths of LGBT parents and challenges they face, and will understand the value of LGBT families in serving children and youth in the foster care system. 
  • Participants will be knowledgeable about how to interact with LGBTQ individuals in an affirming, welcoming manner.

Day 2: Creating Environments, Recruitment Strategies, Home Assessment Practices, and Child Placements that are Welcoming to LGBT Families

Day 2 in the All Children – All Families training series covers the essential steps all agencies need to take in order to create welcoming environments for LGBT prospective parents. In this module, trainers will offer concrete suggestions on creating LGBT friendly agency communications, while giving extra attention to helping agencies develop specialized parent recruitment strategies for this population. In this session trainers also will provide specific, practical suggestions for how to conduct non-biased, LGBT-competent home assessments and how professionals can confidently engage in discussions with children about being placed in LGBT-headed families. This session will conclude with helping agencies navigate challenges and pitfalls in the process of matching LGBT parents with children awaiting families.

Objectives:

  • Participants will know concrete steps they can take to create affirming environments for LGBT foster and adoptive parents.
  • Participants will feel prepared to adapt their parent recruitment practices to be more inclusive of LGBT families.
  • Participants will 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.
  • Participants will 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. 
  • Participants will increase their capacity 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.
  • Participants will develop strategies for instilling fairness for LGBT families in the child matching process.
  • Participants will 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.

Day 3: Ensuring the Safety, Permanency, and Well-being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth in Care of the Child Welfare System

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in care often experience rejection and hostility by caregivers and other child welfare practitioners which usually results in a low sense of self-worth, substance abuse, high-risk behaviors, and self-harm. Even when case workers, foster parents, and other child welfare practitioners have the desire to be supportive of LGBTQ youth, many lack the skills necessary to talk to foster youth about their sexual and gender identity, so the subject is often left unaddressed under a code of "don't ask/don't tell." But, LGBTQ youth need to be able to share their feelings with those who are charged with their care. Like all children, LGBTQ youth look to adults for guidance, acceptance, and love. This training will offer social workers, foster parents, other caregivers, and others who work with youth in care the opportunity to possess a greater understanding of the issues facing LGBTQ foster youth and the skills necessary to treat these children with the same care, respect, and love that each and every child deserves so that they can go on to lead happy, healthy, and productive lives. Trainers will rely on first-hand quotes, videos, role plays, and case studies to ensure that the true voices of LGBTQ youth are represented
throughout this training session.

Objectives:

  • Participants will improve familiarity with the evolving terminology and concepts relating to youth sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression (SOGIE).
  • Participants will examine the diversity of LGBTQ foster youth and explore ways to engage them with respect to the multiple identities and challenges they face.
  • Participants will become familiar with the legal rights of LGBTQ foster youth.
  • Participants will become acquainted with LGBTQ youth risk and protective factors.
  • Participants will become familiar with existing resources that address the needs of LGBTQ youth in care.
  • Participants will gain a greater understanding of the impact sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression have on foster youth safety, permanency and well-being.