LGBTQ-headed adoptive and foster families, like other adoptive and foster families, need to be provided support, counsel, and nurturance into the future. Either through their own work or by connecting families with external services, organizations should provide post-permanency support to LGBTQ families. However, supporting LGBTQ-headed families requires a deep understanding of their unique developmental paths.
Examples of family support:
- Educational Seminars
Agencies that offer seminars for adoptive and foster families should ensure that seminars address the additional layers of diversity and the developmental path of LGBTQ-headed families.
- Support Groups
Agencies that offer support groups for adoptive and foster families should ensure that they address the additional layers of diversity and the development path of LGBTQ-headed families. If agencies do not themselves sponsor such groups, social workers will be familiar with external support resources available for LGBTQ-headed adoptive and foster families.
- Family Counseling and Mental Health Services
Because the services adoptive families need will change as their children age, the organization will provide access to family counseling or mental health services or refer clients to external services. It will ensure that those who deliver these services are competent in dealing with the specific developmental paths of LGBTQ-headed adoptive and foster families.
- Working with Schools
In all its post-permanency services, the organization will help its families navigate schools regarding issues that arise for children and youth in foster care or who are adopted, including issues that arise because the children are in an LGBTQ family.