After a year unlike any other, this year’s All Children – All Families (ACAF) report from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) underscores the resilience of this program that has worked to create a world in which LGBTQ+ youth and families can live free from bias, discrimination, and inequity for nearly 14 years.
By working in partnership to provide child welfare professionals with the tools they need, build understanding, and empower agencies to implement inclusive policies and practices, the HRC Foundation’s ACAF program helps set up LGBTQ+ youth and families for success. Through this work, the program addresses critical issues facing LGBTQ+ youth and families –– from unintentional hurdles to outright discrimination.
The third edition of this report demonstrates the increasing reach of this one-of-a-kind program, with more participating organizations than ever. This year’s participants also took on imperative work to grow their commitments to intersectionality and to create policies and practices that do not mirror the very same systemic issues that put predominantly Black and Brown youth and families at higher risk of interacting with the child welfare system.
Throughout the report, it is clear that the dual pandemics of pervasive white supremacy that touches all aspects of our society and the impact of the COVID-19 virus have uniquely positioned our participants to focus inward and evaluate how their work must address these challenges for the good of the Black and Brown LGBTQ+ youth they serve. The 119 organizations participating in ACAF this year have shown their dedication to this work by implementing ACAF’s “Benchmarks of LGBTQ Inclusion,” a means of tracking policy and practice changes within agencies.
We are in a moment that makes the work of ACAF feel all the more important. The Supreme Court decision in Fulton v Philadelphia from June of this year put discrimination in child welfare at the forefront of the minds of many, reminding us that, in a system with a storied past full of inequity that harmed the most marginalized among us –– Black, Brown and LGBTQ+ youth –– the responsibility of protecting those who are incredibly vulnerable to discrimination of so many kinds still lies with all of us. These change-makers understand this too.
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, and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation is committed to fighting for all those serving the LGBTQ+ community.
To view the report, go here.