Gov. Jerry Brown OKs training in LGBT issues for foster parents
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill requiring foster parents and other care givers to undergo training in "cultural competency and sensitivity" regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.
The bill by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) has been controversial, with some conservative activists saying it will discourage adults from volunteering as foster parents.
"This bad bill tramples religious freedom," said Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia, adding it "will be telling prospective foster parents, 'Don't sign up.'"
But Ammiano said foster care providers already undergo some training and that the additional requirements would assist them in more effectively helping young people.
"It is crucial that foster homes are supportive places for youth to grow and learn safely, but LGBT youth are disproportionately targeted for harassment and discrimination in the foster care system," Ammiano said after he introduced AB 1856.
The bill was also backed by Clarissa Filgioun of the group Equality California, who said it will "help to provide comfort, safety and support to LGBT foster youth."
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown. Gov. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press