Monterey County Family and Children’s Services Honored for Enhancing Efforts for LGBTQ+ Youth, Families in Foster Care System
Monterey County’s Department of Social Services, Family and Children’s Services’ (FCS) has been honored for its efforts with LGBTQ+ youth and families. The department has been included in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation annual report Change-Makers in Child Welfare 2020.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s program, All Children – All Families requires child welfare agencies to undergo a rigorous self-assessment and training process to receive recognition from HRC. Monterey County’s Family and Children’s Services reached two of the three tiers, including the highest tier, Innovative.
“Becoming an LGBTQ+ competent agency is the realization of more than a year of effort by leadership, social workers and staff,” said Laura Neal, Deputy Director of Family and Children’s Services. “We know that LGBTQ+ children and youth are overrepresented in foster care and they are best served when their foster families and social workers allow them to be their authentic selves.”
A work group made up of social workers and staff led the effort for FCS to be included as an innovative child welfare agency. These social workers and staff demonstrated their commitment to improving outcomes for LGBTQ+ children, youth and families involved in Monterey County’s foster care system, by participating in this development of new policy and procedure in addition to their usual caseloads. All leadership, social workers, and staff participated in at least one, and as many as three, trainings to achieve LGBTQ+ cultural competency.
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. Monterey County is honored to be among these agencies creating a more equitable and just world for LGBTQ+ children, youth, and families.