Recently, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced a proposed rule that will direct child welfare agencies around the country to “fully implement existing protections for LGBTQ+ youth in foster care.” The Human Rights Campaign, HRC, praised the move, stating, “This proposed rulemaking is an important step toward ensuring LGBTQ+ youth in foster care, who make up nearly one in three of the children in the foster care system, have the safe, healthy, and affirming environments they need in order to thrive.” The proposed rule would require child welfare agencies to give youth access to evidence-based behavioral and mental health care that supports their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. As well as banning the use of “conversion therapy.”
Here at CASA, we support every effort that helps support children as they navigate growing up and the foster care system. Our volunteers undergo initial training on how to advocate for children of diverse backgrounds and ongoing training on supporting children of diverse backgrounds. Several studies conducted since 2019 have reported that 1 in 3 children in foster care identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. It is critical to support all children in foster care, especially youth in the LGBTQ+ community, as they are over-represented in foster care. While there is a long way to go in supporting youth who belong to the LGBTQ+ community, this is an excellent start to advocate for healthier outcomes for these youth.
As a part of ensuring LGBTQ+ youth have access to affirming environments where they can thrive, CASA’s recruiting and training team is developing resource lists for our communities. Here are some resources for LGTBQ+ youth in Barry, Eaton, and Ingham counties!
To learn more and review our sources click on the link below: