June 2023 Pride Message

June is Pride Month, a celebration of the history, culture, and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. As Pride celebrations unfold around the state, we reaffirm Kinnect’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access. In fact, “At Kinnect, we welcome and include all people as their authentic selves. We treat everyone with respect,” is one of our values.

The Importance of Pride

Certainly, it is hard to read the news that state legislatures are considering and passing bills to limit gender-affirming health care, ban transgender girls from sports, and limit discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in education settings. Kinnect has seen firsthand the importance of creating an affirming family network for youth who identify as LGBTQ+.

From 2017-2021, Kinnect partnered with Cuyahoga County Division of Children Family Services, Case Western Reserve University, and A Place for Me on Affirm Me. Affirm Me was a grant project designed to improve outcomes for foster youth with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions (SOGIE). Kinnect implemented the Chosen Affirming Family Finding (CAFF) model, the goal of which is to help youth build a robust network of affirming individuals who provide belonging, support, and emotional and legal permanency. In addition, we are currently working to incorporate the CAFF model into Kinnect to Family (KTF) and Youth-Centered Permanency Roundtables (YCPRT) and Congregate Care Reduction.

Pride at Kinnect

Unquestionably, at Kinnect we remain committed to advocating for the needs of young people in the LGBTQ+ community. The goal is for youth to be surrounded by a network of affirming individuals who provide belonging, support, and permanency. This year, we began offering SOGIE 101 training at Ohio Child Welfare Training Program regional training centers around the state. Sessions are scheduled throughout the summer and fall. We have also opened up our internal virtual SOGIE 101 training to external partners. This is part of our effort to reach even more people who can accept and affirm young people who identify as LGBTQ+ and help them to build committed affirming networks and positive futures.
This month, take the opportunity to learn more about the LGBTQ+ movement and its importance to our culture and community.

Below are a few resources you may find interesting:

Achieving Permanency for LGBTQ+ Youth (collection of resources from Kinnect’s presentation at the Child Welfare League of America Conference).
A Brief History of Queer Political Action

The Stonewall You Know is Myth

The Buckeye Flame online newspaper

Equality Ohio

Human Rights Campaign

American Civil Liberties Union