Youth in foster care who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (or 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 LGBTQ youth as well as supportive families and safe homes.
Caring for LGBTQ Children and Youth: A Guide for Child Welfare Providers (PDF - 1,669 KB)
Human Rights Campaign Foundation (2015)
Shares a guide for child welfare agencies caring for LGBTQ children and youth. The guide includes information on LGBTQ terminology and definitions, supporting and serving LGBTQ youth, the legal rights of LGBTQ youth, resources, and more.
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2018)
Provides information on a program aimed at improving policies and practices for LGBTQ and gender-expansive youth involved in child welfare.
Improving Safety, Permanency, and Well-Being for LGBTQ Youth [Webinar]
North American Council on Adoptable Children (2017)
Presents a webinar and related resources on topics pertaining to the safety, permanency, and well-being of LGBTQ youth, particularly those in out-of-home care.
LGBTQ Supplement to the Diligent Recruitment Navigator (PDF - 119 KB)
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids (2017)
Disseminates a tool to ensure that child welfare agencies provide placement stability and permanency for LGBTQ youth through diligent recruitment plans and programs.
The National Quality Improvement Center on Tailored Services, Placement Stability, and Permanency for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Two-Spirit Children and Youth in Foster Care (QIC-LGBTQ2S)
Compiles a variety of resources on improving practice surrounding LGBTQ children and youth, including webinars, curricula, workforce development interventions and tools, and youth interventions and tools. There is also information on implementation sites established in collaboration with the Children’s Bureau to develop, integrate, and sustain best practices and programs for LGBTQ youth.
Working With Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning/Queer Youth (PDF - 1,751 KB)
Minnesota Department of Human Services (2014)
Describes how to effectively and competently meet the needs of LGBTQ youth and their families, including permanency outcomes.