All Children - All Families: Group Technical Assistance
Beginning in August of each annual assessment cycle, All Children - All Families offers group-based technical assistance (TA) for its participating agencies. Each TA session focuses on a specific benchmark requirement and provides the opportunity to connect and learn from peers in the field working to implement these policy and practice changes.
Navigate to each of the seven technical assistance sessions by clicking on the links here:
The sessions are 60-minutes and cover the following:
- An overview of the benchmark’s policy/practice area and requirements to successfully meet the benchmark
- Common challenges and solutions to policy/practice implementation
- Case studies from participating agencies
- Q&A with ACAF and agencies
All technical assistance sessions are designed for the agency staff member(s) that are leading the All Children - All Families engagement at your agency. These leads should also consider inviting agency team members who are integral to the work towards particular benchmarks. For example, it may be inappropriate for an agency's training manager to attend the Staff Training technical assistance session. It is highly recommended that prior to attending a TA session, participants have attended a Benchmark Overview webinar and completed the Agency Self-Assessment section specific to the TA session’s topic area. Participants will also be sent a list of questions to consider prior to the session in order to help each agency get the most out of TA.
- Establishing written non-discrimination policies to protect LGBTQ clients and employees from discrimination is an important first step in building an organization’s foundation for LGBTQ inclusion. This group TA session will focus on implementing LGBTQ-inclusive client and employment non-discrimination policies as well as ensuring your agency’s commitment to non-discrimination is reflected in your contracts with partners. Topics include common challenges and solutions to updating these policies, strategies for communicating these policies to staff and clients, the connection between agency policy and state/local/federal laws, and considerations for ensuring the training and procedures are in place to hold staff accountable to adhering to these policies.
- LGBTQ staff training is a core component of an organization’s efforts to create a culture that is inclusive and affirming of everyone, regardless of their SOGIE. This group TA session will detail ACAF’s new training benchmark requirements: ACAF webinar participation and the creation of an ongoing training plan. Agencies are encouraged to have staff members charged with designing and implementing staff training and professional development activities join this group TA session. Topics will focus on key considerations when creating ongoing training plans, including strategies and tips for integrating LGBTQ topics into current staff training efforts, identifying LGBTQ trainings locally, and creative solutions to getting LGBTQ-related content into the hands of your agency staff members given real world limitations on time and resources.
- “Rolling out the welcome mat” for LGBTQ children, youth and families means moving an organization beyond non-discrimination and taking concrete action to send the explicit message “You are welcome here.” This group TA session will bring agencies together to discuss strategies and lessons learned when it comes to assessing and updating agency forms and other paperwork, visual cues within the agency, and external messaging (e.g., website, brochures and social media). Examples of LGBTQ-inclusive forms and creative messaging efforts will be highlighted. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences related to adding SOGIE-specific fields to forms and preparing staff to use these forms.
- Organizations that serve resource parents (foster and adoptive parents), kinship caregivers, and other caring adults in the lives of children, should review key practices to ensure that LGBTQ adults are welcomed and included. Where applicable, parent training and support materials should include considerations for caring for LGBTQ youth. This group TA session will give participants the opportunity to connect on implementing the key policy and practice areas for ensuring LGBTQ inclusion in our work with parents/caregivers including: recruitment, training, home assessments, ongoing support and education, data tracking and competent referrals. Common challenges, proven solutions for navigating pushback, and related resources will be provided. Participants are encouraged to prepare questions and concerns related to this work as well as their own examples of success and innovation.
- Organizations working to improve practice with LGBTQ youth need to translate this commitment into a thorough scan of the agency environment and all areas of service provision. This group TA session will focus on the policy and practice changes that help remove the most common barriers faced by LGBTQ youth to ensure they are safe, affirmed, and supported to achieve permanency. The full scope of policies and practices within this benchmark area will be reviewed, as well as related resources. Participants are specifically encouraged to discuss their agency’s current practices related to assessing and discussing SOGIE with young people and ensuring affirming placements for trans and non-binary youth.
- Transforming an organization’s culture to ensure all stakeholders are welcomed and affirmed regardless of their SOGIE is hard work that takes years. This group TA session will discuss the strategies that help support and build internal capacity for long-term and sustainable LGBTQ inclusion efforts. Topics include navigating common challenges (e.g., staff turnover, competing priorities and limited resources), creating an infrastructure of staff that is educated and trained to be advocates, and recommendations for gathering feedback and collecting data from LGBTQ youth and families. Participants are encouraged to share specific questions about making their current work sustainable in order to troubleshoot with and hear lessons learned from their peers.
- Organizations that have established a solid foundation for LGBTQ inclusion within their own walls can lead the broader child welfare community forward in this area by sharing their lessons learned. This group TA session will focus on the ways in which agencies can serve as leaders on the local, state, and national levels. Topics include strategies for engaging partner organizations in LGBTQ inclusion efforts, participating in pro-LGBTQ public policy advocacy, and ways to contribute to broader public education and outreach efforts related to LGBTQ equality. Examples of this innovation and leadership will be provided and participants are encouraged to bring their own ideas and questions for their peers.