The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), which is the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, announced recently that the Clark County Department of Family Services (DFS) has earned the HRC Foundation's All Children—All Families (ACAF) seal of recognition for its commitment to supporting and serving LGBTQ youth and families.
"We're honored to be recognized as a leader in serving LGBTQ youth and families, especially at a time when so many children -- a disproportionately high number of whom are LGBTQ -- are in need of loving foster and adoptive homes," said Timothy Burch, Clark County Administrator of Human Services. "This is a testament to the humanity and dedication of our staff, and reflects our agency's vision -- uniting expertise with compassion and cultural competency to achieve the goal of creating loving, affirming and supportive families for the LGBTQ youth we serve."
"We are thrilled to welcome the Clark County Department of Family Services into the community of child welfare organizations that are truly committed to providing the best care possible to LGBTQ youth and creating more loving families by removing barriers to qualified LGBTQ foster and adoptive parents," said Ellen Kahn, Director of the HRC Foundation Children, Youth & Families Program. "The child welfare professionals at DFS are shining examples of how to put the best interests of the children first in the foster care and adoption process."
DFS earned the honor by meeting HRC's criteria for fully-inclusive policies and practices in working with the LGBTQ community. ACAF provides a comprehensive framework, from client non-discrimination policies to staff training, that assists agencies in establishing policies and practices that welcome, support and affirm LGBTQ youth and LGBTQ foster and adoptive parents, and implementing ongoing efforts to improve LGBTQ competency. With 400,000 children in our nation's foster care system, there is an urgent need to increase the pool of families ready and able to raise children.
According to Burch, DFS is increasing its efforts to recruit and license individuals and couples who identity as part of the LGBTQ community. This will include attending the 2018 Las Vegas Pride Festival on Oct. 20 and Oct. 21. DFS recruiters will be available for interviews to discuss the critical need for foster families to provide safe, stable and caring homes for children in foster care.
For information about how to become a foster parent, the public is urged to call (702) 455-0181.