December 2022/January 2023Vol. 23, No. 10Tips for Foster and Adoptive Parents on Creating an Affirming Home for LGBTQ+ Youth
It is estimated that nearly one-third of youth in foster care identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or other diverse identity (LGBTQ+). With the mental health risks and challenges associated with this young group in mind, a post from the AdoptUSKids blog provides foster and adoptive parents with advice on how to create an affirming home environment.
The following tips—based on the lived experience of two child-serving professionals and advocates, one of whom is an African American transgender youth formerly involved with the system—can help foster and adoptive parents create an environment in which LGBTQ+ youth feel welcome, safe, and supported:
- Educate yourself about the mental health risks for LGBTQ+ youth
- Believe—and help your child believe—that they can have a happy future
- Support the gender-diverse youth in your care for who they are and how they choose to express their identity
- Use an LGBTQ+ affirmation calendar (all year long!) to recognize and celebrate your child
- Provide emotional permanency
- Help your child develop positive coping skills
The post includes links to a variety of pertinent organizations, projects, studies, and resources, including the webinar from which the information in this article was developed. To learn more, read "Creating an Affirming Home for LGBTQ+ Youth as a Foster or Adoptive Parent" on the AdoptUSKids website.