Our CASA volunteers are committed to advocating for the best interest of all the children we work with regardless of ethnicity, background, and sexual orientation.
As often as we possibly can we try to match an advocate with a similar background or life experience with each child. This can be challenging at times as the demographics of our volunteer pool do not always match the population we serve. Statistics show that 30% of youth in foster care identify as LGBTQIA+(1). These youth in care often experience multiple disruptions to placements and even homelessness due to hostility towards their sexual identity or gender identity. Here at CASA we work hard to assist youth in empowerment based advocacy to provide them support and resources.
In May of this year we offered training to our CASA Volunteers to increase their knowledge in advocating for older youth at risk of aging out of the Foster Care System. Children who are in foster care when they turn 18 yrs old and have not been reunified with their parents, adopted, or become legal guardians of a relative or other caregiver are considered to “age out” which means that they are released from foster care into the world at the age of 18, often with no support or even a place to live. LGBTQIA+ are especially at risk because of the lack of available homes for this vulnerable population. The training offered to our volunteers provided education on how to advocate and mentor specifically for children in foster care over 15yrs old that are at risk for aging out. Many of the youth in this age range identify as LGBTQIA+. This month we are fortunate to have the Salus Center joining us to offer training for our volunteers on how we can best advocate for LGBTQIA+ youth that we work with.
Here are some startling facts about LGBTQIA+ youth in Foster Care:
Join us in celebrating the LGTBQIA+ youth, caregivers, and service providers this month! Happy Pride!
For more information on how to help LGBTQIA+ youth in Foster care or to learn more about LGBTQIA+ youth experiences in foster care please visit the resource links below.
NCLrights.org LGBTQ Youth in the Foster Care System
Supporting LGBTQIA+ Youth: A guide for Foster Parents:
For more information or to apply to become a casa volunteer visit our website at:
CASA for Kids, Inc.