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Northeast Ohio Adoption Services Recognized for LGBTQ Inclusion, Looks At Foster Care After Pandemic

photo of Northeast Ohio Adoption Services website
Officials with Northeast Ohio Adoption Services expect more children to enter the foster system once the pandemic ends and caseworkers can return to doing in-home visits.

Trumbull County-based Northeast Ohio Adoption Services is one of four Ohio organizations being recognized for working to improve services for the LGBTQ community. A report from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation lists the agency among those that work toward inclusiveness for both children and parents.

Cynthia Wallis with Northeast Ohio Adoption Services said the staff there has completed training to “roll out the welcome mat” for LGBTQ families. And it’s something that didn’t exist when she began her career 25 years ago.

“Data and research has shown that a number of LGBTQ families felt as though when they called agencies, they would be discriminated against simply because of partnerships," she said. "Now, we are so proud to state that a quarter of the families that we have here do identify as part of the LGBTQ community.”

Wallis also said they expect more children to enter the foster care system once the coronavirus pandemic ends.

Wallis on Ohio adoptions

“Because those in the community haven’t been on those children in a number of weeks. So we are expecting that when the pandemic is over and caseworkers are able to actually go out into the homes – in our partnership with police officers – we’re anticipating that more children will be coming into care and/or we, as social workers, will be providing more resources and referring to those families out to get their needs met,” she said.

Wallis added that many families will also need access to resources because they’ve been hit financially by the coronavirus pandemic.

Three other Ohio organizations – Youth Advocate Services in Columbus, Choice Network - Private Infant Adoption Services in Worthington, and Lighthouse Youth & Family Services - Out of Home Care Services in Cincinnati – were also recognized by the All Children-All Families initiative.

More information on getting involved at NOAS is available here:

Wallis on getting involved at NOAS

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.