LGBT Parenting Network Closing December 31, 2005Wednesday, October 5 2005
The Famil Service Association of Toronto announced in September 2005 that the LGBT Parenting Network will be winding up its work at the end of the 2005 calendar year. While the end of the LGBT Parenting Network is not good news, the contribution to the community under Rachel Epstein's leadership has been considerable.
The LGBT Parenting Network was established in 2001 and has been generously funded by the Counselling Foundation of Canada for the last four years on a project basis. With the funding coming to an end, we have tried hard to find alternate sustaining funding for the program but, unfortunately, we have not been successful. As such, we will begin winding down the program shortly.
Fall programming of LGBT Parenting Network activities will continue as planned, including three dates of the Queer Parenting Exchange (Sept 28; Oct 26; Nov 23), the Queering the Family Tree poster launch on November 1 and the Transgender / Transsexual Parenting II on November 19. As of today, Rachel Epstein will not be able to respond immediately to phone or email inquiries. This step is necessary for Rachel to complete her prior commitments to the Network program. Calls to her telephone line will be forwarded to voicemail and we will do our best to respond to email and phone inquiries in a timely manner. If you would like to be kept informed of LGBT-PN programming developments, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org confirming your name, address and email address.
While the LGBT Parenting Network will officially end on December 31, 2005, we have sought, with some success, to preserve elements of the program beyond that date through existing partner agencies. The 519 Church Street Community Centre, for example, has agreed to continue the Daddies & Papas 2B program, along with its "sister" program Dykes Planning Tykes. The 519 has also agreed to host Queer Parenting Exchange meetings at its location.
We continue discussions about program succession with other LGBT-community-serving agencies and are optimistic that a number of our programs and services will find new homes. In particular we are exploring other web-based possibilities that can continue to communicate news and information as the Pride & Joy newsletter and Parenting Network e-news has done.
We would like to thank all of the Network's participants, our partner agencies and the Counselling Foundation of Canada for your generous support over the years. We also want to take this opportunity to recognize the breadth and impact of the work done by Rachel Epstein to steer this project from the beginning. Her ideas have been transformed into critically needed activities and materials that benefit lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual parents and their children and we hope that the valuable connections that have been made through the LGBT-PN will continue to grow and benefit everyone who has been involved.