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July/August 2022Vol. 23, No. 6What Is Known About the LGBTQ Perspective in Child Welfare Services

Although youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) are overrepresented in out-of-home care, there is a lack of research on LGBTQ perspectives on child welfare services. The journal Child and Family Social Work published a scoping review examining existing research on child welfare services for LGBTQ youth, their caregivers, and foster parents. The researchers used the following two questions to guide their research:

  • What is known about the practices of child welfare services toward LGBTQ youth and caregivers?
  • What is known about LGBTQ foster parents?
The studies in the review were classified using three main themes:
  • The experiences, prevalence, and outcomes of LGBTQ youth who come into contact with child welfare   
  • The perspectives of LGBTQ foster parents and foster caregivers of youth in care who are LGBTQ
  • Child welfare practice in an LGBTQ perspective
The article summarizes the findings from the reviewed studies and how they relate to the identified themes. It also identifies gaps in the literature, such as the studies being predominantly conducted in more accepting countries and consisting of qualitative interview studies. These findings can guide the planning and commissioning of future research and practice, including identifying areas where change can be seen and good practices have been identified as well as areas for improvement.