At CASA Youth Advocates of Delaware and Chester counties, we are deeply committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion across our organization and within our local communities. As an agency, we have facilitated challenging conversations surrounding issues of inequity in outcomes for children and families based on race and LGBTQ status. We have encouraged our staff, advocates, and board to learn and to question. Our focus remains on the best interests of children.
CASA has been following the case of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, a United States Supreme Court case that stems from a 2018 decision by Catholic Social Services not to accept same-sex couples as foster parents. In the United States, and in our area, the demand for foster parents is far greater than the supply, and the number of children in need of foster care has increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To exclude loving families from serving our children based on sexual orientation is senseless and contradictory to best practices for foster care placement. All children deserve a loving, stable, and permanent home. We think that it is imperative that all willing, able, and qualified foster parents be afforded equal consideration, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.
CASA has committed to working with All Children, All Families, a project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, which promotes LGBTQ inclusive policies and affirming practices among child welfare agencies and formally recognizes those agencies that are leading the field with innovative approaches to inclusion. Over the next year, our efforts will include enhanced staff trainings, welcoming language, policies that reflect our values, and assessing the diversity of our own vendors to ensure that we are doing everything we can as an agency to be anti-discriminatory. We are excited to continue to grow in these efforts.