Post submitted by Jean-Phillipe Regis, HRC Senior Manager, Children, Youth and Families
Today begins HRC’s annual celebration of National Foster Care Month, a nationwide effort to bring awareness to the more than 430,000 children and youth in foster care.
In partnership with FosterClub, HRC’s All Children - All Families project is launching its #FosterEquality campaign again this year to share stories of young LGBTQ leaders who have experienced foster care. The stories of young leaders like Weston Charles-Gallow, a former HRC Youth Ambassador and FosterClub advocate, underscore the importance of learning from and advocating for LGBTQ youth in care.
As we celebrate National Foster Care Month, anti-equality lawmakers across the country are currently targeting prospective LGBTQ foster and adoptive parents in Oklahoma and Kansas. These attacks are especially cruel, given that research consistently shows that LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in the foster care system. Many of these young people enter foster care after experiencingfamily rejection because of their LGBTQ status and they continue to be vulnerable to discrimination and mistreatment while in care. These discriminatory bills will only exacerbate the challenges they face. Further, restricting the pool of prospective parents makes it harder for all children to find their forever families.
Today, HRC, Equality Kansas and the ACLU of Kansas launched a full page ad in opposition to HB 2481, the proposed license to discriminate with taxpayer funds against LGBTQ foster or adoptive parents, single parents, or other qualified families that is on the verge of becoming law in the Sunflower State.
Here are some tips for supporting LGBTQ youth in foster care this May:
- Read about foster parenting and the experiences of LGBTQ youth in foster care: Are there ways you can support young people in your community? Here are some resources to consider as you contemplate beginning the process of becoming a licensed foster parent and opening your home to a young person in need: "Is Foster Parenting For You?"; "How Can I Find an LGBTQ-Friendly Adoption or Foster Care Agency?"; Search for foster care agencies that have received HRC’s Seal of Recognition for supporting and serving LGBTQ families;
- Research opportunities to become a mentor to local foster care youth.
- Share our webinar for foster parents and caregivers on tips on being affirming to LGBTQ youth;
- Watch these heartwarming stories on why foster care is so important.
Having an affirming voice and a caring adult can be immensely powerful for young people in care. HRC advocates for foster youth all year round through our All Children - All Families project that helps agencies improve their services for LGBTQ youth in foster care.
Stay tuned to hrc.org/blog and help us share the stories of youth in care throughout May.
Learn more about All Children–All Families’ work to promote LGBTQ cultural competency in adoption and foster care at hrc.org/acaf. Want to stay up-to-date on All Children - All Families resources and activities? Subscribe to “Field Forward,” the program’s monthly e-newsletter at hrc.im/field-forward.