New LGBTQ Youth Resource Guide for Child Welfare Providers
November 26, 2013 by Alison Delpercio, Associate Director, HRC Children, Youth & Families Program
This week, the HRC Foundation’s All Children - All Families project has released a new resource, Caring for LGBTQ Children & Youth: A Guide for ChildWelfare Providers.
We know that a disproportionate number of youth in the U.S. foster care system are LGBTQ and many have been abandoned precisely because they are LGBTQ. As you may have heard, we recently announced the expansion of All Children – All Families to provide more resources for child welfare agencies for supporting and serving LGBTQ youth in out-of-home care.
After entering the child welfare system, LGBTQ youth continue to struggle. Agency staff members often lack the skills and knowledge to provide them with the services they need and deserve. They sometimes face abuse and hostility from their peers, and even worse, from the adults who are charged with caring for them. One study found that 78% of LGBTQ youth were removed or ran away from their foster placements as a result of hostility toward their sexual orientation or gender identity.
This new resource guide provides the must-know information on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (or “SOGIE” as the new acronym goes). It outlines key terms and provides great tips on things to keep in mind when working with LGBTQ youth, or youth others may perceive to be LGBTQ. It’s also packed with recommendations for resources for folks interested in learning more, including other national organizations doing great work for LGBTQ youth, like the ABA’s Opening Doors Project, and this compilation of resources specific to child welfare.
We want to extend special thanks to the Alameda County Social Services Agency Department of Children and Family Services. This resource guide has been adapted from an earlier guide written by the county’s LGBTQ Workgroup.
The release of the guide comes during National Adoption Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness of opportunities to adopt children and youth from the foster care system. Early this month we asked what you will do to support LGBTQ youth. Well, now we hope you’ll share this guide with parents and professionals in your life who are caring for LGBTQ youth, especially those in foster care.
Visit HRC’s site to learn more about adoption and foster care today!
To learn more about All Children – All Families, check out www.hrc.org/acaf.
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