GETR.E.A.L. (Recognize. Engage. Affirm. Love.)

getR.E.A.L (Recognize. Engage. Affirm. Love) California is an initiative to improve the competency and capacity of child welfare organizations and to promote the healthy sexual and identity development of all children involved with the California child welfare system. Led by Family Builders by Adoption, it is part of the national getREAL project which is a collaboration with the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP).

getREAL California works to develop and integrate a sexual orientation and gender identity/expression (SOGIE) framework into current statewide initiatives in collaboration with the California Department of Social Services and counties.  To date, the initiatives have included the Continuum of Care Reform, implementation of the Katie A. settlement agreement, California Partners for Permanency, and the California Child Welfare Core Practice Model.   The project leads and staffs an advisory group for the department of social services;   has developed tools and resources for the field to promote affirming environments and provides consultation and technical assistance for state and counties.

getREAL California is supporting the implementation of new state regulations to enhance the well-being of LGBTQ+ and gender expansive youth involved with the child welfare system. Those new regulations include but not are not limited to AB 731 and AB 2119.

Additionally, getREAL California offers workshops and training on a state and national level for organizations to understand and create intersectional SOGIE inclusive programs.

For more information, contact the getREAL California Project Director: Vida Khavar, at


Child Welfare Resources
Families of LGBTQ Youth
  • Intersexion: Full Gender Documentary
  • What It’s Like to Be Intersex
Juvenile Justice
Parenting Gender Expansive Children
  • Becoming Me
  • Debi Jackson reading “That’s Good Enough”
  • Gender Born, Gender Made
  • Gendermom
  • Growing Up Trans – Frontline
  • How to Be a Girl
  • Jacob’s Journey: Life as a Transgender 5-year-old
  • Malisa’s Story: What It Means to Be a Transgender Child
  • Meet Zeam
  • On Being Genderqueer
  • One Doctor Explains the Journey for Kids Who Are Transitioning
  • Parenting videos of Diane Ehrensaft
  • Parenting videos of Dr. Johanna Olson
  • Raising a Transgender Child (video by Cosmopolitan)
  • Raising My Rainbow
  • Raising My Rainbow (blog)
  • Raising Zay: A Family’s Journey with a Transgender Child (article with video)
  • Ryland’s Story
  • THE FACTS (about transgender kids) (video)
  • The Transgender Child
  • Trans Truth
  • Transitions of the Heart
  • Transmormon
  • Transparent
  • Why Does My Kid Want to Change Their Name and Pronouns?