Illinois DCFS using Pride Month to enhance LGBTQI+ training and call for foster parents

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FILE – In this June 30, 2019, file photo parade-goers carrying rainbow flags walk down a street during the LBGTQ Pride march in New York, to celebrate five decades of LGBTQ pride, marking the 50th anniversary of the police raid that sparked the modern-day gay rights movement. Democrats flooded Twitter and email inboxes this week with praise for the watershed Supreme Court decision shielding gay, lesbian and transgender people from job discrimination. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

(WMBD) — Utilizing Pride Month, the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) enhanced its training for the entire department staff on inclusive and affirming language and behavior.

This training is for staff, agency providers, caseworkers, and investigators. There is also private training for foster and adoptive parents.

“With being in the affirming, supportive environment… not only are we creating that environment within our culture within the department of Children and Family Services, we’re also seeking the foster parents, future foster parents to have that same environment,” said Marla Courts, the Illinois Statewide Chief of LGBTQI+ Affairs with DCFS.

Along with these efforts, the department is also working to enhance its recruitment efforts for foster parents of LGBTQI+ youth.

LGBTQI+ youth, foster and adoptive parents and anyone working in child welfare can call the department’s LGBTQI+ Helpline at (855) 814-8421.

The national Child Abuse Hotline is 1 (800) 25-ABUSE.

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