April 2020 Edition
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We hope you are safe and well. As April comes to a close, we’re highlighting resources shared during our recent virtual panel discussion with LGBTQ foster care alumni. Thanks to our friends at FosterClub for supporting the panelists and to all who listened with open hearts and minds. If you missed it, you can tune in to the recording with the link below. We’re also sharing some good news out of Kentucky, a new guide from California, and a fun way to show your pride during your next Zoom meeting!

Highlights from LGBTQ Foster Care Alumni Panel Discussion

More than 400 professionals joined ACAF for our panel discussion with LGBTQ foster care alumni on April 22nd. Thank you to panelists Weston Charles-Gallo, Christian Carter, and Melvin Roy for sharing their experiences and insights and to Brittney Carey at FosterClub for partnering with ACAF to make the discussion a success. The panel received overwhelmingly positive feedback and here are some of the highlights and resources shared during the conversation: 

Empathy: Panelists were asked to share the most important characteristics of the adults who showed up in affirming and supportive ways while they were in care. Empathy was a common theme and this video animation on teachings from Brené Brown on empathy was highly recommended by panelists and attendees alike.

Orgs to Know: Two organizations were suggested by attendees for those working to get resources to foster youth and young adults right now: Dream Makers Project and One Simple Wish.

Important Question: One of the many important questions from attendees sparked a lot of conversation: “If a prospective adoptive family says ‘yes we are open to LGBTQ+ youth’ what are some follow up questions to ask, aside from them expanding on their ‘yes?’”

This resource from NYC ACS lists several examples, including: 

  • How would you describe your level of comfort with speaking with a foster child about their SOGIE?  From one to ten, one being very uncomfortable and ten being extremely comfortable – Explain and if low what would you need to help you increase your comfort level? 

  • Would you welcome an LGBTQ youth’s friends and partners into your home? Why or why not and please explain your answer.

  • If your foster child wants to wear clothing known to be attached to his/her gender identity, how would you handle it? 

Watch the panel discussion on-demand now.

Zoom with Pride Using HRC Digital Backgrounds

While people across the country and around the world practice social distancing amid the COVID-19 outbreak, we’re helping you spread some joy via HRC’s new Zoom backgrounds. Our free, downloadable backgrounds are the perfect way to show your pride and promote LGBTQ rights during your next video call with friends, coworkers, family members and more.

Make sure to grab a screenshot of yourself using one of the backgrounds and share it with us on Instagram (@HumanRightsCampaign) and Twitter (@HRC) with #ZoomWithPride.

To use HRC's backgrounds, simply download the image in your browser, right-click and save to your computer.

Good News in Covington, KY

Thank you to our friends at CHNK Behavioral Health -- an ACAF Innovator -- for flagging this good news out of Covington, KY. In late March, the city’s Board of Commissioners voted 5-0 to ban the “dangerous and ineffective” practice of so-called conversion therapy for minors. Adam Roland, manager of day treatment and PCC programs at CHNK -- spoke in support of the policy change. “This is a tremendous step (and) goes a long way toward ensuring the emotional and social safety of LGBTQ families,” Roland said. Read more. Have good news to share? Tell us here.

New SOGIE Guide for Children’s Residential Program Licensees and Caregivers from CA DSS

The California Department of Social Services has released a new resource guide intended to inform and provide best practice suggestions for Children’s Residential Providers and Caregivers relating to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) while ensuring the health and safety of children during out of home care and during their transition into young adulthood. It’s filled with important information and resources, including real-life case scenarios that would be perfect for a staff in-service training discussion. Download the guide today.

ACAF Project Updates
The ACAF 2020 Annual Report will be released at the end of May. Stay tuned!

Resource Spotlight
The #SeeChange Newsletter from our friends at CSSP is an informative, monthly source of news from the field on Equity, Inclusion and Justice. Subscribe today!
May Webinars

May Observances

May - Foster Care Awareness Month
May - Mental Health Month
5/3 - International Family Equality Day
5/16 - National Honor Our LGBT Elders Day
5/17 - International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
5/19 - Agender Pride Day
5/19 - National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
5/22 - Harvey Milk Day
5/24 - Pansexual and Panromantic Awareness & Visibility Day

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