The 6-week-long “Family is Love Campaign” aims to help change the face of foster care in Virginia and inspire individuals to consider becoming foster parents for youth that need these services.
With adoption and foster-care a current hot-button issue for same-sex couples, VHBG has been attempting to build a base of LGBT individuals and couples to submit to local social service agencies as an option.
“What I will say is that up to this point, some individual localities have been approving LGBT individuals to be foster parents,” John Dougherty, Vice President of Business Development, said. ”Overall there continues to be resistance to having same-sex couples [foster] which is a major hindrance to an already under resourced foster care system in Virginia. We know that some of the more liberal localities will accept these and hopefully over time some of the agencies closer to us will as well.”
The organization also tabled at a recent panel discuss on keeping LGBT youth safe. “This is one of the many areas we are focusing on building our identity,” Dougherty said. ”VHBG is committed to being a resource to all youth and families, as well as an employer and foster care agency that supports LGBT individuals.”
The VHBG now requires all staff to go through ROSMY’s Institute for Equality training.
As part of the “Family Is Love” campaign, VHGB is encouraging people to share stories on their Facebook page by sponsoring a contest. In 500 words or less, Facebook users can describe family means to them. The top 3 essays will win $250 and be published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Kevin Clay is the editor and publisher of GAYRVA.COM. He is a Richmond native, loves the city and knows it's on the edge of greatness. Don't hold back RVA. You can follow Kevin on GAYRVA's Twitter or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.