Mayor Newsom and Supervisor Dufty join "Family
Builders by Adoption"
in announcing new program for LGBT foster youth
New program to complement Mayor Newsom's foster youth reform
Photo(s) by Stephen
From the Mayor's Office of Communications
March 27, 2006
San Francisco, CA- Joined by foster care youth and supportive
families, Mayor Newsom, Supervisor Bevan Dufty and Jill Jacobs,
Executive Director of Family Builders By Adoptions, a non-profit
adoption and foster care agency, announced a new program called
No Place Like Home. The new program, developed by Family Builders
By Adoption, will focus on providing a safe and stable foster
care environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning
(LGBTQ) youth, while working collaboratively with the youth to
help bring them home to a permanent family.
There are over 10,000 children and youth in foster care in the
nine Bay Area counties; nearly half of them are in Alameda and
San Francisco counties. It is estimated that LGBTQ youth make
up between 10 and 15% of that population. LGBTQ youth are more
likely than other foster youth to be placed in group homes or
other congregate care facilities.
"All foster children are at risk and need safety and stability,"
said Mayor Newsom. "LGBTQ youth in particular, face an increased
risk of violence and abuse while in foster care." Newsom
continued, "I applaud organizations like Family Builders
By Adoption, who have stepped up to the plate and taken a lead
in providing a stable foster care environment for LGBTQ youth."
Supervisor Bevan Dufty, a strong advocate on behalf of LGBTQ
foster youth stated, "Without a permanent family, all foster
youth face a grim future, but life in the foster care system is
especially dangerous for LGBTQ youth," Dufty continued, "We
need first and foremost to insure their safety, and ultimately
to find a family who will accept and love them unconditionally."
The new program also will complement Mayor Newsom's foster care
reform initiatives. In November 2005, Mayor Newsom announced that
San Francisco's Child's Welfare System would be implementing new
measures that will provide increased focus on prevention, safety,
permanency and well-being in the city's foster care system.
The new reforms are in line with the State of California's mandate,
through Assembly Bill 636, to move toward a performance and outcome
driven child welfare system focused on safety, permanency and
well-being. San Francisco has responded by moving forward on a
series of aggressive and innovative reforms that will improve
the lives of thousands of families and children. The city's new
foster care program is touted to become a model for the State
The City currently partners with Family Builders By Adoption
to identify gay and lesbian potential adoptive parents. In addition,
Mayor Newsom also indicated that the Human Services Agency will
soon be issuing a Request for Proposals to select an agency to
recruit and certify potential adoptive parents with a special
focus on adopting older youth and on recruiting gay and lesbian
The Human Services Agency's proposed budget includes two additional
caseworkers who work exclusively on identifying youth in the system
who are candidates for adoption. The two workers will be supported
entirely with additional state adoption funding.
Jill Jacobs, Executive Director for Family Builders By Adoption
added, "We're pleased that Mayor Newsom and Supervisor Dufty
recognize the unique and urgent needs of LGBTQ youth in care,
and we know that their support will motivate people to come forward
to provide the accepting and affirming family environment our
LGBTQ youth need."
Family Builders will provide training and support for families
who want to provide foster care to LGBTQ youth.
For more information on LGBTQ youth in care, or to learn bout
how to become a foster parent, contact Family Builders By Adoption,
528 Grand Ave., Oakland, 510.272.0204.