Youth in foster care who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) may face distinctive challenges in achieving legal and relational permanency. These youth may have been rejected by their birth families and other support systems due to their sexual orientation or gender expression and may even face discrimination and harassment from peers from within the child welfare system. LGBTQ youth also may confront unique developmental issues, such as navigating the coming out process. The following resources can help child welfare professionals better understand the unique needs of LGBTQ youth and provide strategies for achieving permanency for this population.
2016 RISE Project Care Coordination Team Program Manual
Los Angeles LGBT Center (2016)
Discusses the RISE (Recognize Intervene Support Empower) initiative based in Los Angeles. The manual explains the historical background and lessons learned.
2016 RISE Project Outreach and Relationship Building Program Manual
Los Angeles LGBT Center (2016)
Explains lessons learned regarding program implementation in order to assist child welfare agencies replicate or adapt the outreach and relationship-building component of RISE in local settings. Other volumes of the program manual provide training about social work practice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth as well as supportive families and safe homes.
Information Packet: LGBTQ Youth Permanency (PDF - 703 KB)
Yarbrough & Ariyakulkan (2012)
National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections
Provides a summary of issues related to permanency for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth, including best practice tips, a description of a model program, and an overview of relevant policy and legislation.
L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's RISE Initiative to Reduce Long-Term Foster Care: Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII) Grantee Profile (PDF - 38 KB)
L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center (2013)
Describes a grant project designed to help lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning children and youth involved with child welfare to achieve a safe, stable, permanent family.
Permanency for LGBTQ Youth (PDF - 1,240 KB)
Protecting Children, 26(1)
Explores the promise in and the challenges of providing permanency for LGBTQ youth and reviews the concept of permanency for LGBTQ adolescents, the permanency options available for youth, and ways promising practices and approaches can be incorporated into facilitating permanency for this population.
Supporting LGBTQ Youth: A Judicial Bench Card (PDF - 55 KB)
American Bar Association (2009) Lists ways judges can support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth, including, strategies that support reunification, adoption, and guardianship or relative placement.
Working With Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning/Queer Youth (PDF - 1,751 KB)
Minnesota Department of Human Services (2012)
Describes how to effectively and competently meet the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth and their families, including permanency outcomes.