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PFP Expands Efforts to Support LGBTQ Foster Youth and LGBTQ Foster Parents

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Working with the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, PFP has held eight information sessions over the past couple of years to help recruit LGBTQ adults and other affirming communities to become foster parents, especially for LGBTQ youth.

Our next two recruitment events are set for Monday, March 11th at the Lovett Library in Mt. Airy and on Thursday, April 18th at the William Way Center in Center City. Both will be held from 6-8pm. Representatives from DHS and foster care agencies will be present with information on requirements, training and licensing process. In addition, we’ll have a panel of current LGBTQ foster parents and former foster youth speak about their experiences and answer questions from the audience.

PFP board member Leigh Braden is putting together a support group for LGBTQ foster parents that will start meeting later this year. If you are a licensed foster parent, please fill out this questionnaire to give us your input on how you’d like the group to run, when it will meet, etc.

In an effort to improve the foster care system as a whole, PFP is proud to sponsor a Speaker Series this spring on Best Practices for LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care. At the first session, an audience of about 100 people heard from a panel of LGBTQ foster youth. (Pictured)

The next speaker in the series will be Shauna Lucadamo, the LGBTQ Affairs Project Manager from Allegheny County DHS. That talk is scheduled for Thursday, March 14th from 2:00-3:30pm at the University of the Sciences. CLE and CEU credits are available. Register at this link.

PFP Executive Director Stephanie Haynes serves on the Philadelphia Youth Residential Placement Task Force and has attended several meetings this spring to help the group come up with recommendations on ways to improve the safety and education of youth in placement as well as alternatives. Stephanie’s role is to ensure the needs and voices of LGBTQ youth are included in the discussion and the solutions offered.

There’s no new update yet, but in case you missed it in 2018, PFP is represented by the ACLU as an intervenor in the Fulton vs. City of Philadelphia lawsuit involving Catholic Social Services. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals heard the plaintiff’s appeal in November of 2018. We are awaiting their ruling. 

Finally, PFP is working with the national LGBTQ family group Family Equality Council to respond to the Trump Administration’s directive from HHS to a foster care agency in South Carolina, allowing them to discriminate based on religion when serving foster parents.

In response to that directive, PFP has assisted FEC in getting Pennsylvania members of Congress to sign on to letters to HHS Secretary Azar opposing this move. Sen. Casey signed the letter from Senators and Reps. Dean and Scanlon signed the House letter.

Now the House Ways and Means Committee is going to be holding hearings about the actions of HHS. Philadelphia Congressmen Dwight Evans and Brendan Boyle are on the committee, so want to make sure they get written testimony from Philadelphians on the importance of an inclusive, non-discriminatory foster care system. PFP will be submitting testimony, but if you have a positive or negative story to share about your experience, please share it with FEC here.

Wissahickon Hike

Spring Hike at Schuylkill Center

Get outside for this spring hike at the beautiful Schuylkill Center in Roxborough from 10:30-11:30am on Saturday, May 4th. Look for PFP board member Becca Levin.

From their web site:

Want to get outside but don’t know where to start? Bring your family for a hike and unstructured nature play with representatives from our NaturePHL program. We’ll climb, explore, and learn more about the many health benefits of outdoor activity. Meet us at the Visitor Center and we’ll head out from there.

All ages welcome. No registration required. This event recurs every first Saturday of the month.

This program is part of NaturePHL, a collaborative program with CHOP that helps Philadelphia children and families achieve better health through activity in local parks, trails, and green spaces.

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PFP Neighborhood Potlucks

Philly Family Pride will be holding neighborhood potlucks in and around Philadelphia on the weekend of March 30-31. This is a great chance to meet your LGBTQ parent, grandparent and prospective parent neighbors and for your kids to meet their kids.

This is also a good opportunity for LGBTQ prospective parents to meet and ask questions of the parents in the group. LGBTQ grandparents are also welcome to join in!  

Choose one of the potlucks below and RSVP with the number of adults and number and ages of kids for the address and more info about parking, etc. These events are free and are open to everyone!  

Please bring an entree or appetizer to serve 6 and serving utensils.   Hosts will provide beverages, plates, silverware, etc. and their homes!  

In addition, we’re asking folks to bring gently used adult and children’s books in good condition to donate to Project Home as part of their new enterprise. No very old textbooks, encyclopedias or periodicals. We’ll collect them and take them to the donation drop off center.

E-mail Stephanie Haynes with any questions or to offer your home as a location for this weekend if there’s not one already near you.

We’re still looking for hosts in Chester County and South Jersey.  

Bucks County – at the home of Bryan, John and Shawn in Perkasie
Sunday, March 31st, 11am-2:00pm
RSVP bry1932@gmail.com

Main Line – at the home of Adam, Stephen and Edie in Wynnewood
Saturday, March 30th, 11:00am – 2:00pm
RSVP adam@phillyfamilypride.org

Mt. Airy – at the home of Becca and Austin
Sunday, March 31st, 10am-1pm
RSVP rglevin@gmail.com

West Philly – at the home of Jadzia, Mae and Wednesday
Saturday, March 30th, 10:00am – 1:00pm
RSVP to freeplanetx@gmail.com

South Philly – at the home of Alyssa, Shay, Maia, & Lex
Sunday, March 31st from 9am-Noon
RSVP to amutryn@gmail.com

Delaware County – at the home of Julie, Jenn & kids in Wallingford
Saturday, March 30th, 5:00-8:00pm
RSVP julie.m.prey@gmail.com