WASHINGTON – The “All Children – All Families” initiative of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation today announced a new partnership with RaiseAChild.US, a nonprofit with the mission to promote and encourage the LGBT community to build families of their own through fostering and adoption.
The pilot project will produce recruitment events and media campaigns in major cities across the country, raising visibility of LGBT parents and the fostering and adoption process.
The 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.
“We are absolutely delighted to kick off this exciting partnership. We have over 50 adoption agencies engaged in our ‘All Children — All Families' initiative, these are agencies that need and want LGBT individuals and couples to come forward. The RaiseAChild.US campaign will help motivate many people in our community to take that first step knowing that we will connect them to an agency that truly welcomes and values them,” said Ellen Kahn, HRC Family Project Director and a professional social worker.
“RaiseAChild.US was born out of a desperate and exigent need to connect over 107,000 children in the foster care system with safe and loving homes,” said Rich Valenza, founder and executive director. "Across our country, there are just as many LGBT parents and prospective parents able to provide this… the solution is right before our eyes.”
According to 2010 U.S. Census data, children are being raised in over one million LGBT-headed households.
“Our families blend into every community, leading to the misperception that gay parenting is something new. Nevertheless, many LGBT people do not realize the fact that multiple private and governmental child welfare agencies are eager to work with us,” said John Ireland, RaiseAChild.US media director.
RaiseAChild.US produces recruitment events and media campaigns featuring outdoor advertising (billboards, banners, etc.) and Public Service Announcements (PSAs) on radio and television. In November 2011, it launched www.RaiseAChild.US, partnering with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and local adoption agencies, recruiting over 200 prospective resource families within one month.
The “All Children – All Families” initiative, launched in 2007, promotes policies and practices that welcome LGBT foster and adoptive parents. The program seeks to enhance LGBT cultural competence among child welfare professionals and educate LGBT people about opportunities to become foster or adoptive parents to waiting children.
To date, ACAF has over 50 participating agencies across the country, and has awarded 18 seals of recognition. Last year HRC launched a “50 state strategy,” with the goal of securing at least one ACAF-recognized adoption agency dedicated to working with LGBT families in every state. More information about the initiative can be found at www.hrc.org/acaf.