- Foster Care , Latest News
- December 14, 2021
Training to support LGBTQIA+ Kids in Foster Care
Hi, foster care community! Let It Be Us is a proud supporter of LGBTQIA+ kids in foster care and we want to keep you informed about a new policy requirement recently created by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to support LGBTQIA+ kids in foster care.
As of late October 2021, there is a new LGBTQIA+ Children and Youth in Care Training required as part of the training required for licensed foster family homes.
The purpose of this training is to address the vital needs of our children in care that are part of the LGBTQIA+ community:
- To support foster parents in ensuring their best ability to keep these youth safe and provide guidance on making sure their well-being and permanency needs are addressed
- Explaining the ethical requirements of caring for LGBTQIA+ youth
- Providing explanations of LGBTQIA+ terms and the vital importance of healthy development of sexual orientation and gender identity
- Explaining why LGBTQIA+ youth are overrepresented in foster care
- Teaching strategies to meet unique needs of LGBTQIA+ youth in foster care and provide supportive, affirming, appropriate and necessary care
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and private agency foster parents are now required to complete this training as part of the already mandatory training (PRIDE and supplemental training). Both new foster parents (pre-service) and those in renewal (in-service) must now do this training.
If you are beginning the process of becoming a licensed foster parent, this training will now be a part of the pre-service requirements. If you are already a licensed foster parent you should plan to make this training a part of your required 16-hour renewal training hours in-service.
This training is available online in the DCFS training center and is self-directed. It is worth a total of 3 training hours and will be recorded on your DCFS Training Transcript once it is completed. There is also a printed version of this training available that can be obtained by asking your current licensing worker or other agency staff.
Let It Be Us is committed to providing information, education, and support for foster youth in care that identify on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. We invite you to join one of our upcoming webinars on December 16th, 2021, January 25, 2022, and February 22, 2022, where we will partner with Chicago’s Center on Halsted. During these webinars, we will address the needs of LGBTQIA+ youth and help provide supports, resources, and answer questions about meeting the needs of this youth population so often overlooked.
You can register for this completely free and virtual event at letitbeus.org/events.
- The Center on Halsted
- Why It Matters
- Resources for Supporting LGBTQIA+ youth
About Let It Be Us
Let It Be Us is a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the landscape of foster care and adoption in Illinois. Our mission is to inspire foster care and adoption so more children in care grow up in stable, healthy homes. Funds raised will go to programs that build the strong and innovative bridge between our waiting children and foster and adoptive parents. Learn more at letitbeus.org
Vanessa comes with eight years of child welfare experience. She began working initially in foster care as a Permanency Case Worker and then moved into other positions in the field including; foster parent licensing, administration, quality assurance and risk management, and most recently in clinical social work as a Therapist and Parenting Educator for birth parents and children involved with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. She has also been a CASA advocate since May 2021. Vanessa earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Jane Addams College of Social Work at UIC and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with the state of Illinois. She is also a Licensed Direct Service Child Welfare Employee and is Rule 402 and Child Care Act certified. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Clinical Social Work with the Institute of Clinical Social Work in Chicago. Vanessa is deeply passionate about child welfare and committed to improving outcomes for the safety and well-being of all children in Illinois. You can reach Vanessa here.