Center on Halsted to host foster care and adoption recruitment event for LGBTQ

Mon. June 25, 2018 12:31 PM by News Staff

HRC family seal recipient Little City Foster Care reaches out to local LGBTQ community

Chicago, IL - Pride events around the country motivate and inspire the LGBTQ community to unite, celebrate and recognize the movement for equality and the progress we've made so far, one of which involves the national acceptance and growth of LGBTQ families and households.

Public support for allowing gays and lesbians to adopt children has steadily increased and more than 4% of all adopted children in the United States are raised by LGBTQ parents. According to the most recent Census, there were 115,064 total same-sex couples with children in the U.S.

On Friday June 29th, Let It Be Us, an agency whose mission is to inspire the education and adoption of children in Illinois foster care, is holding a foster recruitment event at the Center on Halsted.

Event details (June 29th): click here

Another agency that will be at the event, that's hoping to work with people and families exploring adoption, is Little City Foster Care, the first organization in the state of Illinois in child welfare to obtain the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) "All Children All Families" seal of recognition.

The seal is given to agencies who meet rigid benchmarks for their commitment to compassionate and competent care of LGBT youth and families. Little City Foster Care received the seal in 2012 and continues that commitment to this day.

The agency, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, is reaching out to the LGBTQ community. "You are truly needed and wanted," notes Emily Rawsky, Director of Foster Care & Adoption at Little City Foster Care. "It's just our overt intention of reaching out and having a welcome mat for staff and for families; and saying that we are openly and actively recruiting. We want you and we need you to help partner with us to serve our kids."

Little City Foster Care is one of five organizations who contracts with DCFS throughout the state that specializes in providing foster care services to youth with special needs, specifically youth who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, but also emotional and behavioral disorders.

"There is a true deficit in available homes for the youth who are in care," Rawsky states. "That issue is even more confounded for us because of the population of youth that we serve. I think a lot of families often express a desire to parent a baby or kids five and under." 

"We need homes for kids who tend to be pre-teen and teenagers," she adds. Reports state that there are over 200,000 LGBTQ families nationwide interested in exploring foster care and adoption. "And even more so, those families are open to providing homes for pre-teen and teenagers. That alone called to me because of that need for us in particular."

"There's a lot of misinformation and stereotypes about population of youth in care that can make people nervous about even being open to exploring those types of placements."

But there are definitely success stories of youth who've found loving homes, some with LGBTQ families. "This year, we have 12 kids; and we have another 30 predicted for next year - who are going to be adopted or returned home."

"There is such a need for loving and caring homes." says Rawsky. 

For anyone exploring fostering or adopting, Rawsky gives this bit of advice: "there's no pressure or commitment if you just have questions and want to get them answered."

"I would just encourage you to either come to the event or reach out to an agency just to learn more," she adds. "And if we're not meeting the needs of what you're looking for, for example, if you don't want to foster a youth with special needs, we would provide you a list of different agencies you could reach out to too. We try to make it as non-threatening and easy as possible. "

Little City Foster Care hosts a monthly information session for prospective foster parents the third Wednesday of every month at multiple locations. To attend a session, email or call 1-855-WE-FOSTER.

You can find details, including steps to becoming a foster parent, on the Little City Foster Care website and view success stories at

"When we did the outreach through HRC to obtain the Seal, it was to have that call-to-action within the LGBT community," notes Rawsky. "saying 'we welcome you and we want you to partner with us.'"