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Issues of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression in Child Welfare - Part 2: Organizational Issues
-February 11, 2014

This webcast focuses on a Title IV-E waiver-funded project called the Youth Acceptance Collaborative, which is a partnership between Alameda County Social Services, Family Builders, and BAYC (Bay Area Youth Center). They focus on organizational issues and how this collaboration benefits the assessment and placement of LGBTQ youth in care. The Youth Acceptance Collaborative is focused on the assessment and placement of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) youth in care. In this webcast, Dr. Mallon speaks with Jill Jacobs, the Executive Director of Family Builders, about the process of starting the Youth Acceptance Collaborative, as well as the roles of the LGBTQ Youth Advocate and LGBTQ Family Advocate in working with LGBTQ and gender non-conforming children/youth, their birth families, and group homes. Dr. Mallon and Jill Jacobs emphasize the importance of focusing on permanency for LGBTQ and gender nonconforming youth, including the need to work with birth families to support reunification and to identify and develop affirming families for those LGBTQ children/youth who cannot be reunified. Next, Dr. Mallon speaks with Mia Buckner-Preston, Program Manager, Placement and Transition Services, Alameda County Social Services Agency, about the Assessment Center and the LGBTQ Youth and Family Advocates, and the benefits of this approach in terms of promoting permanency and meeting the needs of LGBTQ youth. Mia Buckner-Preston describes how Title IV-E funding was utilized to support innovative partnerships and projects to better serve specific target populations, including LGBTQ youth.

Presenter Bios
  • Jill Jacobs, Executive Director, Family Builders
    Jill Jacobs is the Executive Director of Family Builders, a foster care and adoption agency in Oakland and San Francisco, California.  She has a Masters degree in Health Services Administration and over 25 years of experience in the management and leadership of non-profit, community-based, multicultural, health and social services organizations. Ms. Jacobs is a leader, trainer and advocate on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Jacobs is the mother of two daughters via adoption. Jacobs has become a national leader and advocate on issues affecting LGBT adoptive families and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in foster care. She has written several articles, published in child welfare journals regarding LGBTQ youth and families. She is highly regarded for creating innovative programs, including services for older youth and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) youth in foster care. Holding the belief that every child deserves a family and that families will love and care for LGBTQ youth, Jacobs developed a “foster care to permanency” program for LGBTQ youth at Family Builders. The Pride and Joy Project is the only LGBTQ specific foster care program for youth on the West Coast, and illustrative of what it means to put inclusive practices into place.

  • Buckner-Preston, MA, Program Manager – Placement and Transition Services, Alameda County Social Services Agency
    Mia Buckner-Preston graduated in 1995 from John F. Kennedy University with a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. After graduating, Ms. Buckner-Preston worked at the Bayview-Hunters Point Mental Health Foundation in San Francisco with gravely disabled adults. Ms. Buckner-Preston joined Alameda County Social Services Agency in 2000 and has been employed by Alameda County Department of Children and Family Services for thirteen years. She is also employed by Las Positas and Chabot Colleges as a certified Resource/Adoptive Parent P.R.I.D.E Trainer. During her thirteen years with the Agency, she has worked as a Family Services Support Worker, Family Reunification worker, P.R.I.D.E Trainer, Emergency Response Back-Up worker, Relative and Fictive Kin Approval worker, and Dependency Investigations Supervisor. Currently, Ms. Buckner-Preston is the Program Manager for Placement and Transition Services, which oversees the placement of all children/youth in foster care. A huge part of her life is dedicated to “service”. She believes the way in which you compassionately engage in the lives of others will have a positive and forward reaching impact, not only in the lives you touch, but in the lives of the people they touch. Ms. Buckner-Preston is married and has two children, Hayley (15) and Daryl, Jr. (12).

  • NRCPFC Hot Topic Webpage: LGBTQ Children and Youth in Child Welfare
    This section of the NRCPFC website contains resources on LGBTQ children and youth in the child welfare system from:  ACF, the Children’s Bureau, and T/TA Network; collaborating organizations; and, the States. Resources include publications, research/reports, information packets, PowerPoint presentations, webinars, webcasts, videos, toolkits, trainings, and curricula. Links to relevant websites are also provided.
  • Family Builders
    Family Builders helps to find permanent, loving families for children and youth in the foster care system. They connect children with individuals and couples who can provide safe, stable, nurturing families. Their services are free and confidential, and include adoption, foster care, and other forms of permanency. Family Builders offers a variety of programs, including a program focused on older youth permanency and a program to prepare people to become foster or adoptive parents to LGBTQ youth.
  • Gender Spectrum
    Gender Spectrum provides education, training and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for all children and teens.

*The NRCPFC curriculum on "Competent Practice in Working with LGBTQ Youth in the Child Welfare System" referenced in these webcasts is not yet available online. It's coming soon! When the curriculum is available, it will be announced in NRCPFC's Weekly Update.