By: Bonnie Sharpe On: June 09, 2020 In: News Item Comments: 0

Extraordinary Families Recognized by Human Rights Campaign Foundation for LGBTQ-Inclusion Efforts

LOS ANGELES (MAY 29, 2020)Today, Extraordinary Families, Los Angeles County’s leading foster family and adoption agency, proudly announced that it is being recognized as an Innovator in Change-Makers in Child Welfare 2020 — a report highlighting the HRC Foundation’s All Children – All Families (ACAF) program’s partnership with 100 organizations across the country working to improve the services they provide to the LGBTQ community, including children in foster care and prospective foster and adoptive parents. These organizations serve more than 600,000 clients annually in 28 states and employ more than 15,000 workers.

Extraordinary Families’ Chief Executive Officer, Barnaby Murff, stated, “I’m so deeply honored and proud of our commitment to inclusion and equity. Extraordinary Families continues to work tirelessly for our LGBTQ youth and families to promote social justice and provide safe and affirming homes for our children in care.”

“Today, children in foster care are facing a national crisis on top of a personal crisis. Our work to end anti-LGBTQ discrimination in child welfare is more important than ever,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “The organizations highlighted in this report are working with the Human Rights Campaign to ensure anti-LGBTQ bias does not get in the way of life-saving services for children and families. This work is more acute given the Trump-Pence administration’s relentless attacks on LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities. We hope the stories shared in the report provide hope and inspiration to the children, as well as the policy makers pushing for progress during these challenging, unprecedented times.”

The agencies featured in this report conducted an internal self-assessment, provided professional development to staff and implemented ACAF’s “Benchmarks of LGBTQ Inclusion,” which track policy and practice changes within agencies. Change-Makers in Child Welfare 2020 features three “Tiers of Recognition,” which celebrate the strides agencies have made toward becoming fully LGBTQ welcoming and affirming.

  • Innovative Inclusion: 39 organizations, including Extraordinary Families, met all 25 criteria and are going beyond to innovate their services for LGBTQ youth and families
  • Solid Foundation for Inclusion: 28 organizations met all 25 applicable policy and practice criteria for LGBTQ inclusion
  • Building Foundation for Inclusion: 27 organizations met foundational criteria, including non-discrimination protections

The report features profiles of child welfare organizations that are setting the bar for LGBTQ inclusion and interviews with LGBTQ parents served by recognized organizations, including Extraordinary Families’ Brent Blair and his three sons. “There’s no way I could have imagined doing this without (Extraordinary Families),” said Blair. “They have been so helpful and supportive in every way. Every new social worker we’ve worked with has been more supportive than the last.”

The release comes during National Foster Care Month — a month aimed at raising awareness of the needs of children and youth in foster care across the U.S. — and a time when many are sounding the alarm about the particular risks foster youth face due to COVID-19. LGBTQ-inclusion work in foster care systems could not be more important. LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in foster care and face increased risk of both negative experiences and outcomes:

  • Up to 30% of youth in foster care are LGBTQ;
  • LGBTQ youth are twice as likely to report being treated poorly as their non-LGBTQ peers while in care;
  • LGBTQ youth have a greater average number of placements than their non-LGBTQ peers;
  • LGBTQ youth are more likely than their non-LGBTQ peers to be placed in congregate care, including group homes.

Since 2007, hundreds of child welfare agencies across the U.S. have used ACAF’s resources to enhance their efforts to achieve safety, permanency and well-being for LGBTQ youth and families. Extraordinary Families has been a recognized leader in serving LGBTQ youth and families by ACAF since 2009. Read the full report here.

To learn more or get involved, please visit extraordinaryfamilies.org.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

 

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