- November 2021
- Vol. 22, No. 10
How Foster Parents Can Support Their LGBTQ+ Child
The challenges and trauma that many youth in foster care have experienced or will experience can be compounded for youth identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or sometimes questioning), and others (LGBTQ+). As a result, they need foster parents who are supportive, willing to listen and learn, practice empathy, and advocate.
An article on Parents.com discusses the overrepresentation of LGTBQ+ youth in the foster care system and the associated problems this subset of marginalized youth may encounter. It includes details from an interview with a child welfare professional who was in foster care as a youth and is a gay Black man. He describes how foster parents can mitigate the struggles that LGBTQ+ youth may face while in their care and provides guidance and tips on what foster parents should—and should not—do when caring for a LGBTQ+ child. He focuses on the need for foster parents to proactively educate themselves on topics such as individual expression, gender role and identity, common stereotypes, and the use of appropriate versus discriminatory terms and phrases.