Sacramento County has more than 2,000 children and teenagers in its foster care system. These youth have come into the system through no fault of their own. Many have been victims of physical or sexual abuse or neglect. While a number of these youth will eventually be able to reunite with their biological family, many of them need a permanent home.
Sacramento Child Protective Services is in need of many families willing to step-up and provide a loving home for the community’s most vulnerable youth, but they are also looking for families who can embrace diversity, be open minded and provide an affirming home for youth who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer/Questioning. The LGBTQ Foster Youth Collaborative is hosting a resource family (formerly called foster family) orientation specifically for parents and families who will welcome LGBTQ foster youth into their home.
Sacramento County Child Protective Services partnered with three local foster family agencies in 2015 to form a collaborative to increase recruitment of parents who are open to providing a loving home for LGBTQ foster youth. The group, which includes representatives from Sierra Forever Families, Stanford Youth Solutions and Sierra Child and Family Services, has hosted several events over the past two years aimed at recruiting resource families and educating people on what it means to be an “affirming family”.
“Every foster child deserves a home where they are nurtured, but children who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender need a home that is also affirming and supportive of who they are,” says Karen Parker, CPS Program Planner.
CPS estimates it could have upwards of 200 LGBTQ foster kids currently in the system. Foster youth who identify as LGBTQ are less likely to find a permanent home, more likely to run away and more likely to be victims of violence. Sacramento County CPS along with the LGBTQ Foster Youth Collaborative invites you to join them tonight for an informative session and discussion about how to become an affirming family for LGBTQ youth in foster care.
Whether you can provide a short- or longer-term placement, adopt, or assume legal guardianship – LGBTQ youth in Sacramento need you. No matter your gender, marital status, or sexual orientation, the ability to provide a loving and affirming home is all that matters.
“You can be the rock, the person who gives a child the opportunity to have permanency and the supports to heal, grow, and thrive,” says Parker.
The orientation event will take place tonight, Monday, July 17 between 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Sacramento LGBT Center, 1927 L Street, Sacramento, CA.