Throughout the month of June, child welfare agencies across the country celebrated pride. They marched in parades and had staff members represent their agencies at festivals, sending a clear message to LGBTQ people considering foster care or adoption: “You are welcomed and encouraged to apply.”
These agencies broadcasted their commitment to LGBTQ inclusion via their social media platforms throughout the month. We compiled some of our favorite examples in this video:
HRC recommends that foster care and adoption agencies do the work of “rolling out their welcome mat” to LGBTQ community members before going “all in” on LGBTQ parent recruitment at pride celebrations and other venues. This means updating policies and practices and training staff to make sure all LGBTQ applicants have a positive experience when interacting with agency staff. The agencies featured in this video have used HRC’s All Children – All Families resources and trainings in order to get their welcome mat in place. In fact, you may have noticed they were displaying their HRC-branded “Seal of Recognition,” which they were awarded after meeting key benchmarks in LGBTQ inclusion.
These agencies know from their own experiences — and from more than three decades of social science research — that LGBTQ people can make great parents and should never be prevented from applying to foster or adopt just because they’re LGBTQ. The bold, public displays of support for the LGBTQ community that these agencies have shown this month are especially powerful as policymakers in states across the U.S. continue to push laws that would prevent LGBTQ folks from foster parenting or adopting. Not only are these laws completely contrary to research and the policy recommendations of all major organizations dedicated to the well-being of children and families — they do real harm to children who need loving, forever homes.
If you come across a foster care or adoption agency in your community’s pride celebrations, we hope you’ll take some time to chat with their staff, thank them for the important work they do everyday on behalf of children and families, and learn more about opportunities to provide a loving home to kids in need.
HRC Foundation’s All Children – All Families has guided agencies across the U.S. in improving practice with LGBTQ youth and parents for more than a decade. To learn more about the program’s practice improvement model and see the full list of participating agencies, visit 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.