HRC Foundation’s Alison Delpercio, deputy director of the Children, Youth & Families Program, co-presented workshops alongside representatives from several All Children - All Families (ACAF) partner organizations at the National Adoption Conference and National Association of Social Workers’ conference.
On June 21, Janice Goldwater, LCSW-C, the Founder & Executive Director of Adoptions Together, lent her expertise to conversations on how to expand the pool of potential permanent families by removing barriers for LGBTQ families. We know that LGBTQ adults are interested in adoption, and more than three decades of social science research shows that although children with LGBTQ parents are thriving, the community remains an untapped resource for many agencies. Strategies discussed included easy ways to adopt language to ensure agencies are inclusive of LGBTQ people and experiences, policy updates set an LGBTQ-inclusive tone for agency staff and underscore the importance of addressing misconceptions about LGBTQ parenting.
The following day Delpercio, Harry Morgan, MSW, of Prince George’s County Maryland’s Department of Social Services and Colleen Gibley-Reed, MSW, LCSW, from Colorado’s Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse & Neglect presented a symposium on ACAF’s Training of Facilitators program. This training model, which was first conducted in 2016 in collaboration with Children’s Home Society of Florida, helps child welfare agencies build their capacity to train staff on LGBTQ inclusion. The NASW session was live-streamed and will be available soon on the conference’s archive.
In a time when some states are passing legislation to allow discrimination against LGBTQ prospective parents, it is important to highlight examples of agencies that are taking action to do the exact opposite. Agencies across the country are dedicated to opening their doors to LGBTQ parents and, as a result, are finding more homes for children and youth in need. ACAF recently launched new resources, calling on agencies that want to improve their work with LGBTQ parents to engage with the ACAF project. Interested agencies can request to participate today.
For more information about HRC Foundation’s All Children – All Families Program, visit www.hrc.org/ACAF. Want to stay up-to-date on program resources and activities? Subscribe to “Field Forward,” ACAF’s monthly e-newsletter, at hrc.im/field-forward.