RaiseAChild.US Launches Los Angeles County Campaign Seeking LGBT Prospective Foster Parents

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Comedian Alec Mapa to Perform at Hadid Galley in West Hollywood.

RaiseAChild.US encourages the LGBT community to consider building families of their own through fostering and adoption.

We are a part of the solution for our nation’s overburdened foster system.

Comedian Alec Mapa will headline an event about parenting for the LGBT community on Tuesday, December 4, 7:00–9:00 p.m., at Hadid Gallery in West Hollywood. The event is sponsored by RaiseAChild.US, a nonprofit organization that encourages the LGBT community to build families through fostering and adoption.

Mapa, best known for his roles on ABC’s Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives, will open the event with an excerpt from his stand-up show, Baby Daddy, which chronicles the journey he took with his husband in 2010 to foster and adopt their now seven-year-old son. The event will include a panel discussion featuring LGBT foster and adoptive parents.

On the occasion of National Adoption Month, RaiseAChild.US is producing the recruitment event in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the foster and adoption agencies Penny Lane Centers, Southern California Foster Family and Adoption Agency (SCFFAA), Kidsave International and The Village Family Services.

The Los Angeles campaign includes radio PSAs on KPCC and KCRW, as well as streetlight banners and bus advertisements with images of LGBT families that have fostered and adopted. Its slogan is “Let Love Define Family.”

Sari Grant, DCFS Recruitment Administrator for foster care and adoption, is pleased with the partnership. She says, “We have had great success training people from the LGBT community and providing children with safe, secure and loving homes. This outreach campaign is a great way to spread the word.”

“Our goal is to find homes for children who desperately need them,” said RaiseAChild.US President Rich Valenza. “A wealth of research and data clearly demonstrates the excellent parenting abilities within the LGBT community. We are a part of the solution for our nation’s overburdened foster system.”

Dr. Judith Sandino, LCSW, Penny Lane Centers Program Director is excited to engage the LGBT community directly. She says, “RaiseAChild.US puts real families in the spotlight. These LGBT parents built their families through fostering and adoption…and you can, too. We help you to achieve your dreams while delivering what these children need the most: stability and love.”

“The outreach also seeks to find families for LGBT self-identified foster youth,” Sylvia Fogelman, founder of Southern California Foster Family and Adoption Agency adds. “Many of these youth were ejected from their families when they came out. We help to provide resources and community linkages to prospective foster parents concerned about health and finance issues, such as how to provide for college for an older youth.”

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Administration for Children & Families, over 107,000 children in the foster care system are available to be adopted. There are 300,000 additional children in need of immediate foster placement. Certified families are in short supply.

Since the nonprofit organization was founded in 2011, RaiseAChild.US has organized three multi-media campaigns in Los Angeles, engaging over 500 prospective parents. RaiseAChild.US is working closely with the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s “All Children - All Families” (ACAF) initiative, which provides professional training and technical assistance to foster care and adoption agencies that want to welcome and support LGBT foster and adoptive parents. To date, ACAF includes over 60 participating agencies across the country and has awarded 27 seals of recognition.

Join the RaiseAChild.US community on Twitter @RaiseAChild and visit RaiseAChild.US on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/raiseachild.

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