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Dec/Jan 2011Vol. 11, No. 10Toolkit for Supporting LGBTQ Youth in Care

A new online toolkit provides information to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the foster care system receive the support and services they need and deserve. Getting Down to Basics: Tools for Working With LGBTQ Youth in Care also offers guidance on a variety of issues that affect this population of young people and the organizations that serve them.

Information is organized into topical areas, some of which are listed below:

  • Basic facts about being LGBTQ
  • Information for LGBTQ youth in care
  • Families supporting an LGBTQ child
  • Caseworkers with LGBTQ clients
  • Foster parents caring for LGBTQ youth
  • Attorneys, guardians ad litem, and advocates representing LGBTQ youth
  • Working with transgender youth
  • Basic LGBTQ policies, training, and services for agencies
  • Recommendations for training and education on LGBTQ issues
  • LGBTQ youth resources
  • Teaching LGBTQ competence in schools of social work

In 2002, the Child Welfare League of America and Lambda Legal launched a Fostering Transitions partnership to positively affect the treatment of LGBTQ youth and adults in the nation's child welfare and juvenile justice systems. In addition to Getting Down to Basics: Tools to Support LGBTQ Youth in Care, this collaboration produced a number of other educational publications and advocacy tools.

For more information and to order free copies of this toolkit, visit the Lambda Legal website:

Related Item

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released a public service announcement video that shows the Secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius, telling LGBT youth that "it gets better." The message is designed to support youth who are bullied because of their sexual orientation.

Find the full press release on the HHS website:

View the video message on the HHS YouTube page: