• February 2014
  • Vol. 15, No. 2

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Caring for LGBTQ Children

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in foster care are not only disproportionately represented in care, they often face discrimination and abuse while in care. As part of its All Children — All Families project, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is engaging child welfare agencies and providing resources and technical assistance and training on best practices for serving LGBTQ youth and LGBTQ families. One such resource is a guide for child welfare professionals on caring for LGBTQ children and youth in foster care.

The guide offers LGBTQ definitions and terms, data about LGBTQ children and youth growing up in the United States, and information about the legal rights of this population. Also included is a brief introduction to SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression). The Human Rights Campaign calls for a shift in focus from LGBTQ youth to SOGIE for all children, because every child has a sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression, and healthy development of SOGIE is paramount to every child's well-being. Resources and websites to help professionals serve all children and youth in foster care are also provided.

In addition to the guide, the All Children — All Families program offers agencies an LGBTQ cultural competency self-assessment with 10 policy and practice benchmarks. Agencies that achieve each benchmark are awarded a Seal of Recognition from the HRC.

Caring for LGBTQ Children and Youth: A Guide for Child Welfare Providers is available on the Human Rights Campaign website: 

http://www.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/HRC_Caring_For_LGBTQ_Children_Youth.pdf (2 MB)

For more information on the All Children — All Families Benchmarks of LGBT Cultural Competency, visit http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/benchmarks-of-lgbt-cultural-competency

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