Working with Families

The Child You May Not Know You Have
There has been an increase in the number of young children being raised by gay and lesbian parents.  However, because the children of gays and lesbians are frequently the subjects of prejudice related to the sexual orientation of the parents, some parents may be hesitant to inform you of their child’s family makeup.  Therefore you may not be aware that you are working with a child whose parents are gay or lesbian. The purpose of this workshop is to present a summary of the research findings on gay and lesbian parents and their children in order to assist child development professionals in understanding and working with this growing segment of the parenting population.   Specific easy modifications that can be made to more fully include the children of gay and lesbian parents will be discussed. 

First, They Are a Family
There are two familiar sayings that are frequently used by child development professionals regarding their work. These sayings are, “a child lives in the context of a family” and “meeting the family where they are”.  This workshop will examine the deeper meaning of these two phrases.  More importantly this workshop will discuss the implications of these two phrases on early intervention service provision. This workshop will highlight two different family constellations, those families that include a child with developmental challenges and those families with gay or lesbian parents.  Participants will learn how to make their practice become more respectful and effective when working with families from diverse (including racial, socio-economic, sexual orientation and ethnic) backgrounds.  Most importantly, this workshop will highlight the similarities shared by all families with young children.  First, they are a family!