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Department recognized for building LGBTQ inclusion into child welfare work

7/18/2019 9:54:23 AM

The Minnesota Department of Human Services is working to better serve LGBTQ youth and families in the state’s child welfare system, and in June, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation recognized the department’s efforts.

The foundation’s All Children – All Families initiative promotes LGBTQ inclusive policies and affirming practices among child welfare agencies while formally recognizing agencies that are leading the field with innovative approaches to inclusion. In its first annual “Celebrating Everyday Change-Makers in Child Welfare” report, the foundation highlighted more than 70 child welfare agencies across the country – including the department’s Child Safety and Permanency Division – that partnered with the foundation to improve the services they provide to the LGBTQ community, including children in foster care, and prospective foster and adoptive parents.

The foundation recognized agencies in one of three tiers: Building a Foundation for Inclusion, Solid Foundation for Inclusion and Innovative Inclusion. The foundation honored the division as one of eight public child welfare agencies from across the nation to receive recognition in any tier.

At the Building a Foundation for Inclusion tier, Child Safety and Permanency is in the early stage of implementing non-discrimination policies and practices, revising forms and messages to be more inclusive of the LGBTQ community, and providing critical staff training. Moving forward, Child Safety and Permanency will pursue the next two tiers of inclusion, which require implementing innovative approaches to LGBTQ inclusion in key areas, and demonstrating leadership in this with partners and stakeholders.

In 2018, about 16,600 youth were in foster care in Minnesota. More foster parents are needed, and individuals and families of all backgrounds and identities are encouraged to apply. The steps to become a foster parent are available on the department’s website.

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