NACAC has sent out a time-sensitive call to action on behalf of re-introduced legislation sponsored by Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) and Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR). The bill is called the Every Child Deserves a Family Act.
Your advocacy is needed to send a clear message to Washington that this bill, which promises to “prioritize a child’s right to grow and thrive in a safe, permanent, and loving family” is necessary for the well-being of all children in the foster system:
By establishing nondiscrimination policies and requiring practices that affirm the complex identities of children and youth, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act will also make significant strides in supporting LGBTQ+ youth in care, who are overrepresented in the child welfare system, often face rejection from birth families or foster families, and can become targets for bullying because of the harmful stigma that too often still surrounds sexual orientation and gender identity.
The main benefits of Every Child Deserves a Family (as quoted from the NACAC advocacy alert) are as follows:
- Increases the number of qualified foster and adoptive families available to children in care by prohibiting federally funded child welfare service providers from discriminating against children, families, and individuals based on religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status.
- Promotes the well-being, safety and permanency of and culturally competent care for the 1 in 5 youth in care who identify as LGBTQ by increasing access to best practices, resources, and technical assistance to states, tribes, and service providers.
- Requires federally funded child welfare services and staff training to be affirming of complex social identities, including race, color, national origin, ability, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.
You can find more information about Every Child Deserves a Family here, including how to find your legislators. There are sample emails, social media tools, and more supports at that link.
Please share this message widely and act quickly to help raise awareness. Creating a Family is proud to stand with NACAC in support of this legislation.