Washington - The Human Rights Campaign Foundation - the educational arm of the nation's largest civil rights organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality - today announced a new partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, under the All Children-All Families initiative. The partnership is part of a 5-year, $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve recruitment and retention of specific populations in order to expand the pool of permanent families for children and youth in foster care. HRC Foundation's All Children-All Families initiative provides professional training and technical assistance for implementing inclusive policies and best practices for working with LGBT foster-adoptive parents.
"The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services was the first public agency to engage with All Children-All Families, and they worked tirelessly to earn their seal of recognition from HRC," said Ellen Kahn, Director of HRC Foundation's Family Project. "Since then, they have seen an increase in LGBT applicants, which is exactly the goal of this project, to find families for children and to let the LGBT community know that they are needed and wanted."
Through this enhanced work, L.A. County and HRC will partner to increase awareness among LGBT communities of color in order to better meet the needs of the children in care, the majority of whom are African-American and Latino.
"By engaging with HRC on this important work, L.A. County can insure that we are actively welcoming and supporting LGBT adoptive parents from diverse communities, from our first contacts with prospective parents through the process of placing children and helping their families stay strong," said Diane Wagner, Chief of L.A County's Adoption and Permanency Resources Division, and member of HRC's All Children-All Families National Advisory Council. "We commend the Children's Bureau for recognizing the importance of targeted outreach to the LGBT population and specific training and technical assistance for the child welfare professionals who will be working directly with our families."
The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services is the nation's largest public child welfare agency also encompassing the largest public adoption agency in the country. The department serves over 32,000 children on any given day, and each year receives over 160,000 calls to its child abuse and neglect hotline. Report child abuse in L.A. County by calling 1-800-540-4000.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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