Ohio Agency Awarded All Children – All Families Seal of Recognition

On August 15, HRC awarded Northeast Ohio Adoption Services (NOAS) with the All Children – All Families Seal of Recognition as a Leader in Supporting and Serving LGBTQ Youth & Families. HRC Board of Directors Member Suzanne Hamilton (based in Cleveland) was on hand to commend the dedicated team of staff members who led NOAS’s efforts in this area. The Seal was presented at the Hilton Downtown Cleveland.

NOAS is an independent, specialized adoption and foster care agency based out of Warren, Ohio, and has been in service since 1978. Throughout that time they have led innovations on ensuring family stability for youth throughout the region. NOAS prides itself on innovation — from ensuring family stability to maintaining sibling connections, the agency is looked to as an example by peers in Ohio and throughout the country. This same drive for innovative solutions to the needs of children is behind their work toward All Children – All Families’ Seal of Recognition.

NOAS earned the Seal of Recognition by meeting All Children – All Families’ 10 key Benchmarks of LGBTQ Cultural Competency.

“NOAS is so honored to be presented with the All Children All Families LEADER certification from the Human Rights Campaign!,” NOAS posted on Facebook. “We are so happy to be specially equipped to serve the LGBTQ community!”

If you would like to learn more about Northeast Ohio Adoption Services, please visit their website.

HRC Foundation’s All Children – All Families has guided agencies across the U.S. in improving practice with LGBTQ youth and parents for more than a decade. To learn more about the program’s practice improvement model and see a full list of participating agencies, visit hrc.org/acaf. To find LGBTQ-inclusive agencies in your area, check out the list of participating agencies.

Northeast Ohio Adoption Services, All Children All Families, HRC, LGBTQ, Ohio

Above: Eric Meinhart, Plexus; Luz Pellot, HRC Cleveland; Cheryl Tarantino, NOAS; Cynthia Wallis, NOAS; Suzanne Hamilton, HRC Cleveland, BoD; Thomas Hawn, Plexus.

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Welcoming Schools Completes National Facilitator Certification Training

Post submitted by Cheryl Greene, Welcoming Schools Deputy Director

As Deputy Director of Welcoming Schools, I am proud to announce the completion of our program’s second National Facilitator Certification Training. Last week, we welcomed 22 participants from 16 states (plus Mexico and Washington, D.C.) to HRC headquarters for four days of intensive training in the Welcoming Schools approach.

Supporting me in my role as Facilitator Certification Program Manager were Program Director Johanna Eager and our team of knowledgeable, experienced Expert Trainers: Tarah Fleming, Michele Hatchell, and Toni Smith. This year, we were thrilled to have Nationally Certified Facilitator and Boston Public Schools Senior Equity Manager Steven Chen with us. Chen was part of our first ever cohort and joined us to train the newest group in laws and policies that support LGBTQ students.

I was impressed by our participants’ creativity, talent, knowledge base, and passion. I can say with confidence that all of our newly-minted Facilitators are outstanding, committed advocates who will represent our program well and bring much-needed training to elementary schools across the country.

Above all, we are excited to see our program grow. By adding 22 Facilitators to our nationwide network, we greatly increased our capacity to serve schools and youth-serving organizations around the country, getting professional development, information, and resources into the hands of educators who so desperately need it.

In the days following the training, our participants have remarked on how inspired they were by the experience. They aren’t the only ones who were impacted. I know I speak for the entire Welcoming Schools team when I say that these 22 individuals have energized and inspired us. We can’t wait to watch the amazing work they will do in support of schoolchildren everywhere.  

HRC’s Welcoming Schools is the nation’s premier program dedicated to creating respectful and supportive elementary schools in embracing family diversity, creating LGBTQ-inclusive schools, preventing bias-based bullying, creating gender-expansive schools, and supporting transgender and non-binary students.

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