Parent reviewer feedback summary
- Parent reviewers recommend these practices when implemented with love, grace, understanding, and respect.
- To prevent child removal, parent reviewers recommend providing this support to birth families challenged with LGBTQ+ issues.
- Parents recommend child welfare agencies understand the potential harm of not serving LGBTQ+ families well.
What is the intervention?
All Children, All Families (ACAF) is a complete practice guide for your child welfare agency to comprehensively incorporate an LGBTQ+ inclusive approach. ACAF is organized around seven key areas of policy and practice benchmarks for LGBTQ+ inclusion: Non-Discrimination, Staff Training, Rolling Out the Welcome Mat, Parent Best Practices, Youth Best Practices, Sustainability and Capacity Building, and Innovation & Leadership.
For a fee, ACAF offers group-based technical assistance and tailored trainings and workshops, however many free resources are available for download. This includes a Beginner’s Guide to LGBTQ+ inclusion in child welfare with tip sheets, free webinar trainings, and sample agency forms with inclusive language. Here are some practice examples included in the Benchmarks:
- Use neutral language on agency forms such as, “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” in place of “Mother” and “Father,” where applicable
- Develop an ongoing training plan for staff on LGBTQ topics to ensure, for example, that staff trainers are prepared to deliver LGBTQ-related content and are skilled in creating an inclusive space for LGBTQ parents
- Update agency policies to include LGBTQ non-discrimination language in contracts
- Update agency policies to explicitly prohibit conversion therapy for youth in care
- Formalize your process for SOGIE (sexual orientation and gender identity expression) data collection to track and analyze data for continued quality improvement
What makes it a Bright Spot?
LGBTQ+ youth are overrepresented in foster care, many having been rejected by their families because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Entering child welfare systems that lack inclusive policies and practices can be further traumatizing. At the same time, the LGBTQ+ community remains an untapped resource when it comes to finding families for children and youth in foster care. For these reasons, the project focuses on supporting agencies’ efforts to achieve safety, permanency, and well-being by improving practice with LGBTQ+ youth and families.
What steps can you take?
- Start with reviewing the Beginner’s Guide to LGBTQ+ inclusion in child welfare, by finding the tip sheet most closely relates to your role, and start implementing the practice recommendations outlined there.
- Speak with your agency team about the possibility of joining a fall learning cohort to fully implement ACAF into your work. Submit an inquiry via the website when you’re ready.
These materials may help provide additional context and information about this family-approved resource for systems change.
Let us know any information to consider adding to this Bright Spots practice.