Position Statement in Support of the D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977 Concerning all Children, Youth, Adults, and Employees Engaged in Care, Services, and/or Resources Available through the CFSA
In accordance with the D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977, as amended, D.C. Official Code § 2-1401.01 et seq., the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, disability, source of income, or place of residence or business. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which is prohibited by the Act. Any harassment based on or due to any of the above protected classes, is prohibited by the Act. Discrimination in any form is a violation of the Act and will not be tolerated under any circumstances by CFSA or its affiliated private contracted agencies or anyone else doing business with CFSA. All staff, including children and youth shall be treated with respect and dignity.
CFSA is committed to treating all persons, regardless of age, with respect, valuing and affirming differences, and preventing discrimination, harassment, or biases of any kind in the provision of services to the community. It is the philosophy of CFSA that children and youth in foster care who are, or who are perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or questioning (LGBTQ) deserve loving and permanent families and must be afforded the same rights, privileges, services, and protections as all children and youth. CFSA strongly opposes the use of conversion or reparative therapies that are purported to change the sexual orientation of youth. A parent has the right to use conversion or reparative therapy for their child, unless that right has been severed. Examples of a parent not being able to exercise their discretion is if Termination of Parental Rights has been granted, a Court Order has been issued by the Family Court preventing the parent from exercising their right to use conversion or reparative therapy or a court order taking away the parent’s discretion.
Fair and equal access will be provided to all children, youth and adults engaged in the receipt of or application for care, services and/or resources available through CFSA, including but not limited to placement, treatment, benefits, housing and other appropriate referrals. Equal consideration will also be provided for anyone seeking employment with CFSA.
Complaints of harassment of any kind will be investigated and addressed. Any CFSA staff found to be in violation will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. All private contracted agencies and/or anyone else doing business with CFSA must abide by this position statement as a condition of continued service.
All employees, immediate and prospective family members, congregate care providers and contractors must receive appropriate and adequate training and or notification at prescribed intervals concerning CFSA's position on their responsibilities to engage in fair and equal access to available care, services and resources, and its zero-tolerance policy concerning the above mentioned protected classes.
The Agency considers the aforementioned provisions for fair and equal access a right and not a privilege.