Protecting the Rights and Providing Appropriate Services to LGBTQIA2S+ Youth in Out-of-Home Care - New Mexico

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Rights of LGBTQIA2S+ Youth in Foster Care

Citation: Admin. Code § 8.26.2.12; Foster Youth Bill of Rights

A resource parent must not engage in verbal assaults that subject the child in foster care to ridicule or that belittle the child or the child's family based on race; ethnicity; creed; color; age; religion; sex or gender; gender identity; gender expression; sexual orientation; disability; genetic information; intersex traits; medical condition, including HIV/AIDS; citizenship or immigration status; national origin; Tribal affiliation; ancestry; language; political affiliation; or military or veteran status.

In policy: The rights of a youth in foster care include the following:

  • To be informed of their rights in foster care by their caseworker and to receive a list of those rights in written form
  • To have their privacy and right to confidentiality protected
  • To be free from physical, sexual, emotional, or other abuse, including corporal punishment
  • To stay safe and avoid exploitation
  • To advocate for themself and to speak to persons involved with their case without negative repercussions
  • To make a report of abuse or neglect if they feel they are being abused or neglected

Supports for LGBTQIA2S+ Youth in Care

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 61-1-3.3; Admin. Code § 8.26.5.18

A person licensed to provide counseling or mental health services pursuant to this chapter shall not provide conversion therapy to any person younger than age 18. 'Conversion therapy' means any practice or treatment that seeks to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity, including any effort to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward persons of the same sex.

In regulation: Foster care providers shall comply with the following:

  • They shall not engage in discriminatory treatment based on a child's sex or gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, intersex traits, or any other nonmerit factor.
  • They shall not attempt to change or discourage a child's sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression or prohibit expression, including through clothing or grooming, consistent with the child's gender or gender expression.

Placement Considerations

Citation: Foster Youth Bill of Rights

The rights of a youth in foster care include the following:

  • To live in a safe, healthy, and comfortable home where they are treated with respect
  • To receive adequate and healthy food, adequate clothing, and appropriate personal hygiene products
  • To have all their personal belongings secure and transported with them
  • To be placed in a home with their siblings who are in custody, unless it is contrary to their safety or well-being
  • To maintain regular contact with their siblings, regardless of whether they are in custody, unless it is contrary to their safety or well-being
  • To remain in the same school they were enrolled in before entering care, to remain in the same school throughout their stay in care, and to be provided with transportation arrangements to ensure continued enrollment in the same school
  • To have foster parents who are screened, trained, and licensed and who receive adequate support and supervision

Caregiver Qualifications

Citation: Admin. Code §§ 8.26.5.18; 8.26.4.16; 8.26.4.17

Agencies shall educate prospective and current foster or adoptive families on how to create a safe and supportive home environment for youth in foster care regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Foster care providers shall participate in approved annual ongoing training, which may include child-specific training (meeting the needs of the child related to their identity, including race, national origin, religion, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, or disability) or may address issues relevant to the general population of children in foster care in New Mexico.

Definitions

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 61-1-3.3; Admin. Code § 8.26.4.7

'Gender identity' means a person's self-perception or the perception of that person by another of the person's identity as a male or female based upon the person's appearance, behavior, or physical characteristics that are in accord with or opposed to the person's physical anatomy, chromosomal sex, or sex at birth. 'Sexual orientation' means heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality, whether actual or perceived.

In regulation: 'Gender' or 'gender identity' means a person's internal identification as male, female, or nonbinary. Gender identity may or may not correspond to the sex or gender marker that is listed on the person's birth certificate.