Post submitted by JP Regis, Manager, HRC's Children, Youth & Families Program. 

HRC Foundation works closely with foster care and adoption agencies across the country through All Children – All Families (ACAF), a program aimed at helping these agencies welcome LGBTQ youth and families. Through the decade-old ACAF program, agencies work to make sure their policies and practices are LGBTQ-inclusive.

Once agencies have truly “rolled out the welcome mat” to LGBTQ folks, they often look to increase the number of LGBTQ families coming through their doors through targeted recruitment events.

RaiseAChild, a non-profit organization in California, assists agencies in doing just that through its annual “Let Love Define Family®” tour of free recruitment events. In fact, RaiseAChild works specifically with agencies engaged in ACAF to offer the LGBTQ community the opportunity to learn about building families through foster parenting and adoption.

“Not only can more LGBTQ people imagine the possibility of building families through fostering and adoption, but we are also thrilled to see a growing number of non-LGBTQ singles and couples attend with these events as well,” said RaiseAChild, Founder and C.E.O, Rich Valenza.

Last month, eight ACAF agencies partnered with RaiseAChild as part of the most recent recruitment tour throughout seven Southern California cities. Agencies included: Extraordinary Families, Five Acres, Kidsave International, Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services, Penny Lane Centers, The Village Family Services, Vista Del Mar Child & Family Services, and Walden Family Services. These events turned out the largest crowds of prospective foster and adoptive parents in the event’s five-year history.

In a time when more than 100,000 young people age out of foster care every year without finding a permanent family, no parent should ever be turned away simply for who they love or who they are. We also know that far too many of these youth in foster care are LGBTQ and in need of affirming homes.

HRC’s All Children – All Families project is thankful to our participating agencies and organizations like RaiseAChild for their commitment to removing barriers for LGBTQ folks interested in foster parenting or adoption.

To learn more, take a look at HRC’s resources on foster parenting and adoption.

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