Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

HHS urges child-welfare agencies to better serve LGBTQ youth
First of two parts
by Dana Rudolph, Keen News Service
2011-04-27

This article shared 2187 times since Wed Apr 27, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a memo April 6 encouraging child welfare agencies to better serve the needs of "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth" in the foster care system. It said such agencies should avail themselves of federal funds for training staff on how to better serve this community, and it called LGBT prospective parents "a largely untapped resource" for providing foster or adoptive homes to LGBTQ young people.

In the memo, which was issued without a press release, Bryan Samuels, commissioner of the HHS Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), said, "LGBT parents should be considered among the available options for States and jurisdictions to provide timely and safe placement of children in need of foster or adoptive homes."

The memo was sent to state, tribal, and territorial agencies that administer federal child welfare funds under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act.

Title IV-E provides federal matching funds to states to help with adoption and foster care expenses for eligible children.

In the memo, Samuels states his "fundamental belief that every child and youth who is unable to live with his or her parents is entitled to a safe, loving and affirming foster care placement, irrespective of the young person's sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression."

A higher percentage of LGBTQ youth, he wrote, exist in the child welfare system and among those living on the streets than would be expected based on the estimated percentage of LGBTQ people in the general population.

He noted that more and more child welfare agencies are addressing the needs of youth in foster care who are LGBTQ and said others should explore ways to do so.

Samuels also urged agencies, where appropriate, to "claim available title IV-E reimbursement for costs associated with training staff" to serve LGBTQ youth more effectively.

For FY 2010, the last year for which actual numbers are available, the budget authority for Title IV-E funds was $7.3 billion, enough to assist approximately 600,000 children with foster care, adoption, or guardianship assistance each month.

Samuels also said agencies must be "particularly attuned" to placing LGBTQ foster youth with families "committed to providing a safe, supportive and affirming environment."

He called on agencies to "recruit, train and provide ongoing support to families, including LGBT individuals and families, who are able to provide a safe, loving family placement for these youth."

He drew special attention to LGBT foster and adoptive parents, who "can provide a loving, stable home, responsive to the needs of LGBTQ youth in care, and are a largely untapped resource—an estimated 2 million LGB individuals are interested in adopting," according to a 2007 study by the Williams Institute at UCLA.

Also, when a foster child's case plan calls for reunification with his or her family, he said, agencies should support those families to help them "address the young person's needs in a healthy, understanding manner."

Adam Pertman, author of Adoption Nation and executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit dedicated to improving adoption policy and practice, said in an interview that the memo is "very significant" and "further than I have seen federal instruction go" on the topic of LGBTQ adoptive children and parents.

"It's not going to have the same impact as if it were enforced by law or regulation," Pertman said, but "guidance means an enormous amount in the policy world. ... What comes from the top really matters. It helps shape both practice and attitudes."

Ellen Kahn, director of the Human Rights Campaign's Family Project, agreed the memo was "a really important communication" that "outlines what the expectations are regarding LGBTQ youth in foster care, and emphasizes the importance of adequate services, cultural competence, etc., and then segues into inclusion of LGBT resource families and making the case for nondiscrimination," even though it "doesn't have the enforcement of law."

The memo from Samuels is not the first step ACYF has taken to support LGBTQ youth and parents. In October 2010, ACYF awarded the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center a $13.3 million, five-year grant to create a model program to support LGBTQ youth in the foster-care system.

In 2000, under President Clinton, the ACYF-run National Adoption Information Clearinghouse published a report on "Gay and Lesbian Adoptive Parents: Resources for Professionals and Parents." It still exists at the ACYF's Child Welfare Information Gateway ( http://www.childwelfare.gov).

The older report debunked several myths about children of lesbian and gay parents, such as they were more likely to become gay themselves. At the same time, it stated that "the effects on children of being raised by lesbian and gay adoptive parents cannot be predicted"—an assertion more recently called into question by the social science evidence presented by LGBT advocates in a number of cases involving either adoption or marriage rights. The evidence showed no differences in adjustment or well being among children with LGBT parents.

A bill in Congress that would withhold federal funds from states that discriminate against LGBT people in foster placements or adoption died in committee last session, but U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and U.S. Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., are expected to introduce similar bills again this session.

In the past two weeks, three states—Arizona, Illinois and Virginia—have considered bills or policies that would limit adoption rights for unmarried and/or same-sex couples. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) on April 18 signed a measure giving "placement preference to a married man and woman" over a single adult if all relevant factors are equal. The Illinois measure failed to pass, and the outcome is still unknown in Virginia.

Also, two major court cases in the last two weeks have ruled in different ways on whether treating LGBT couples differently violates constitutional principles. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals said "no" (based on the U.S. Constitution) and the Arkansas Supreme Court said "yes" (based on the state constitution).

©2011 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

Part two: What are the states doing to help or hinder adoption of children in need by LGBT adults who are seeking to provide homes for them? Why are so many states debating whether LGBT people should be allowed to apply to become foster or adoptive parents?


This article shared 2187 times since Wed Apr 27, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

LGBT Chamber of Commerce to build 1,000 school supply kits for underserved kids 2021-10-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Back 2 School Illinois (B2SI), the state's largest free school supply program, in partnership with the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois, will host a build-A-kit event at the Center on Halsted on Monday, ...


Gay News

Chicago Plumbing Code allows all-gender multiple occupancy restrooms 2021-10-15
--From a Community Restroom Access Project (CRAP) press release - CHICAGO — The Community Restroom Access Project (CRAP) applauds passage Thursday by the Chicago City Council of the plumbing code modernization ordinance that will allow businesses and building owners to ...


Gay News

Dozens of celebrities, companies set to take part in Spirit Day on Oct. 21 2021-10-15
--From a press release - New York, NY, Thursday, October 14, 2021 - Today, GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, announced a preliminary list of celebrities, shows ...


Gay News

Andersonville celebrates Halloween with 'Halloween on Catalpa' Oct. 30 2021-10-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO (October 14, 2021) — Families are in for a special treat this year as Andersonville once again hosts its socially-distanced "Halloween on Catalpa" event and celebrates the return of ...


Gay News

Rosa Escareno named interim head of Chicago Park District 2021-10-13
- Former Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) Commissioner Rosa Escareno has been named the interim general superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District. In an Oct. 13 statement, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ...


Gay News

Black Incubator and Accelerator (BIA) program to offer support for Black-led organizations 2021-10-12
- A new program—Black Incubator and Accelerator (BIA)—is offering funding and resources to Black-led organizations that primarily serve Black communities on the South and West Sides. BIA is new this year and run by University of Chicago ...


Gay News

TRAVEL Conde Nast again recognizes Chicago as top big city 2021-10-05
- Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Choose Chicago and World Business Chicago announced Conde Nast Traveler recognized Chicago as the #1 Best Big City in the U.S. for the fifth consecutive year in a row in the results ...


Gay News

BUSINESS Black council, HRCF release first-ever 'Black in Fashion' index 2021-10-04
- The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation and The Black in Fashion Council, an organization that promotes and advances Black representation in the fashion and beauty industry, released their inaugural Black in Fashion Index report, which measures ...


Gay News

GLAAD launches video series spotlighting Black LGBTQ+ small-business owners 2021-10-04
- GLAAD has launched "Changemakers," a four-part video series spotlighting Black LGBTQ+ small-business owners and their impact within their local communities before and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The series, presented by ...


Gay News

Chicago Reader celebrates 50th anniversary 2021-09-28
--From a press release - The Chicago Reader, a fearless, innovative, and nationally respected media voice in Chicago since 1971, is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a variety of exhibitions, events, and projects. The Chicago Reader's first issue was October 1, ...


Gay News

Latin Restaurant Weeks taking place in Chicago Oct. 4-18 2021-09-28
- National Hispanic Heritage Month takes place Sept. 15-Oct. 15, recognizing the many contributions of Hispanic Americans. As an effort to acknowledge the successful influences and cultures of Hispanic Americans, Latin Restaurant Weeks, LLC, will host its ...


Gay News

A new street festival comes home to Andersonville 2021-09-27
- The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce presented the new event Andersonville Homecoming on Sept. 24-26. As guests entered the area blocked off Clark Street between Catalpa and Summerdale avenues, a $10 donation fee was suggested to benefit ...


Gay News

SAVOR Funkenhausen 2021-09-25
- When it comes to fusion, West Town spot Funkenhausen, 1709 W. Chicago Ave., might be one of the more unusual restaurants. The cuisine here is a mixture of German ...


Gay News

NGLCC, Grubhub team to help LGBTQA-owned restaurants 2021-09-25
- The country's vulnerable LGBTQ+-owned restaurants and bars serving food will find help this fall, courtesy of a partnership formed by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and Grubhub. These small business owners have been among ...


Gay News

Christkindlmarket marking 25th anniversary; will return to Daley Plaza and Wrigleyville 2021-09-15
--From a press release - (CHICAGO, IL)-(September 15, 2021)-The Christkindlmarket Chicago celebrates its 25th anniversary and will be back in-person as well as online in 2021! Visitors can enjoy their most beloved holiday tradition at two locations this season: ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.