February 26, 2016
LGBTQ and Gender Diverse (LGBTQ+) youth are over-presented in child welfare systems compared to their non-LGBTQ and gender conforming peers. Many LGBTQ+ youth enter foster care in connection with rejection by their family of origin. Once in care, they face negative outcomes in terms of safety, permanency, and well-being. Support and affirmation from out-of-home care providers such as kin, foster parents, and congregate care staff are essential in order for LGBTQ+ youth to do well in care and to avoid negative outcomes such as self-harm, homelessness, and exploitation. Participants will learn about factors that drive LGBTQ+ youth into care at higher numbers and strategies to support and affirm all youth in their care regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.