Being LGBTQ or a youth of color is not the source of the disparities in their outcomes. As sad as it is to imagine, 30 percent of LGBTQ youth reported physical violence by their family members after disclosing their sexual orientation or gender identity, and according to one study, 39 percent of LGBTQ youth in care had been forced to leave their home because of their identities. Using statistics and quotes from LGBTQ youth, this fact sheet provides an overview of many LGBTQ youths’ pathways into care and their experiences in child welfare placements. Ensure placements are affirming of youths’ sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. It has been suggested that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth are overrepresented in unstable housing and foster care and that the care they receive is not affirming of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Categories are not mutually exclusive, and reported sample sizes are limited to students who completed the question on living situation. Each of these youth needs an affirming ally who will walk with them, work to remove barriers and advocate for their well-being. NOTE: We only request your email address so that the person you are recommending the page to knows that you wanted them to see it, and that it is not junk mail. To learn more, visit GLSEN.org. See Fig 2 for an example. Comparison of HIV risks among gay, lesbian, bisexual and heterosexual homeless youth. Those who chose option 1, 2, or 3 were classified as living in stable housing (n = 548 817); those who chose option 4, 6, 7, or 8 were classified as living in unstable housing (n = 20 231); those who chose option 5 were classified as living in foster care (n = 3344). By: Audrey Cole/Reporter— BOSTON—Alarming statistics and highly disproportionate numbers of LGBTQ youth in the foster care system has prompted one local businesswoman and foster parent to tackle the issue head-on through an event and panel titled, Caring for Our Own: LGBTQ Adults Supporting LGBTQ Foster Youth. A scoping review protocol, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2017-4211. Recognizing this gap in the literature, we explore whether outcomes differ for African American and American Indian youth (compared with non-Hispanic white youth) by LGBTQ status and living situation. Growing up can be difficult for anyone, but LGBTQ youth are especially vulnerable to issues like bullying, mental health crises, and homelessness than their peers. With several survey-adjusted regression analyses, we examined whether LGBTQ youth and youth in unstable housing and foster care compared with heterosexual youth and youth in stable housing differed in their school functioning, substance use, and mental health. LGBTQ youth are more likely to suffer from consistent harassment and abuse in foster care, … We do not capture any email address. In Texas in 2018, 52,397 children were in the legal care of the state. Second, survey-adjusted (linear and logistic) regression analyses in Stata version 14.0 were conducted to examine whether LGBTQ status, foster care engagement, and unstable housing and interactions between these factors were associated with school functioning, substance use, and mental health. An example item is "I feel safe in my school" (1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree). Based on this data, we can estimate that around 11,900 LGBTQ youth are living in foster care in Texas – likely even more if we consider those youth who have not disclosed their identity. 6 Discrimination also confronts LGBTQ+ adults when trying to adopt and/or become foster parents, which results in more children and youth remaining in these systems and without parents 7. PFLAG offers support groups for families and has 21 chapters in Texas. Our findings suggest that LGBTQ youth living in foster care or unstable housing are similar in some ways; both groups showed disparities in victimization and mental health, whereas only unstably housed LGBTQ youth showed disparities in school functioning and substance use. An Introduction to LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care, from the Vermont Juvenile Court Improvement Program (CIP).. Best Practices for Respectful, Affirming, and Culturally Competent Care Studies have even shown that without gay fostering, the country would lose $87 to $130 million in child care, with individual states losing as … A Guide to Working with LGBTQ Youth and Families, from the Massachusetts Department of Children & Families. San Diego County Foster Care Statistics: From July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, approximately 4,000 children spent time in San Diego County's foster care system. Information about programs and resources for LGBTQ+ youth are available through your caseworker. See Supplemental Table 4 for characteristics of students by housing situation and LGBTQ status. Despite the many challenges ranged against them, LGBTQ youth in foster care demonstrate remarkable resiliency and creativity. Racial and ethnic minorities who are LGBTQ are more likely to be raising or having kids. Interactions between LGBTQ status and living situation for American Indian students were not significant (P > .05). Several Native American tribes, foster care groups, and a slate of organizations that serve LGBTQ and two-spirit Native American youth are filing a lawsuit against the Trump administration in response to the White House’s rule ending data collection of several vulnerable groups in foster care. California is 1 of only 13 states that has laws and policies in place to protect foster youth from harassment and discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identity.11,36 However, the current findings revealed that LGBTQ foster care youth in California are not faring as well as their non-LGBTQ or non–foster care counterparts, indicating potential areas for future research and intervention. • Race and Ethnicity. Survey-Adjusted Regression Analyses and Means of School Functioning, Substance Use, Mental Health of Heterosexual and LGBTQ Youth in Stable Housing, Unstable Housing, and Foster Care. Family Equality's mission is to advance legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, ... More than 200 members of Congress cosponsored ECDF to end discrimination in adoption and foster care. We compared the proportion of LGBTQ youth in foster care in the CHKS sample with data from the 2015 edition of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey that includes a measure of sexual orientation (not gender identity).33 In the national probability-based sample, 11.2% of 12- to 18-year-olds identified as LGB or unsure; comparing this to the percentage of LGBTQ youth in foster care in the current study (30.4%), there is an overrepresentation of LGBTQ youth in foster care. This disparity and overrepresentation of LGBTQ youth in foster care is alarming and Provides information for foster parents to help them learn about LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) youth in the child welfare system, the unique risks they face, and the important role that foster parents can play in reducing those risks. A recent study in Los Angeles conducted by the Williams Institute found that nearly 1 out of 5 (19.1%) LA-based foster youth are LGBTQ and the percentage of youth in foster care who are LGBTQ is between 1.5 and 2 times that of youth living outside of foster care. As recommended by WestEd, youth whose response validity was questionable were excluded. From July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, 1,121 children entered foster care in San Diego County. Of those children: 86% entered foster care … Disparities were most robust for transgender youth in unstable housing and transgender youth in foster care. LGBTQ youth are a lot like other youth. It falls to individual caseworkers and advocates to ensure that LGBTQ youth receive equal and fair treatment, and have safe daily lives. This can include support groups, community centers, affirming faith communities, school-based GSAs (Gender and Sexuality Alliances) and pride festivals. For youth in foster care, disparities for LGBTQ youth were less robust; LGBTQ youth in foster care reported more fights in school and victimization and more mental health problems (although depression did not differ from LGBTQ youth in stable housing). The analytic sample comprises 593 241 students (age range 10–18) enrolled in grades 6 to 12, or ungraded, across 1211 schools. Brighter Futures. When DRI values are >1.00, this indicates an overrepresentation of LGBTQ youth in the CHKS sample; when DRI values are <1.00, this indicates underrepresentation. This points to a need for protections for LGBTQ youth in … One study in Los Angeles, California, for example, reported that as many as 19% of children in child welfare could identify as LGBTQ (Martin, Down & Erney, 2016). Affirmative care is needed. Washington State is dedicated to the safety and well-being of EVERY youth in the foster care system. Mental disorder, subsistence strategies, and victimization among gay, lesbian, and bisexual homeless and runaway adolescents. Thank you for your interest in spreading the word on American Academy of Pediatrics. Among LGBTQ adults under 50 living alone or with a spouse or partner, 48% of women and 20% of men are raising a child who is under 18 years old. Understanding the nuances of caring for a child who is LGBTQ is important. Based on this data, we can estimate that around 11,900 LGBTQ youth are living in foster care in Texas – likely even more if we consider those youth … Exclusion of these youth was based on meeting 2 or more criteria related to inconsistent responses (eg, never using a drug and use in the past 30 days, exaggerated drug use, using a fake drug, and answering dishonestly to all or most of the questions on the survey).32 On the basis of these criteria, data from 1.7% of youth were excluded from the current analyses. AHCC is able to assist you in accessing LGBTQ+ services including … If a youth discloses LGBTQ-related mistreatment or discrimination, take the report seriously. In addition, 24.6% identified as white non-Hispanic, 13.8% as Asian American, 2.7% as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 5.8% as African American, 4.7% as American Indian or Alaska Native, and 40.49% as multiracial. Because CHKS contains nested data (students nested in school), survey-adjusted percentages and means were used to assess the living situation of LGBTQ and heterosexual youth. CHKS is conducted in middle and high schools across California and administered by WestEd to track health risks and resilience among youth.31 Both parents and students gave active or passive informed consent (dependent on the school’s requirements), and students’ participation was voluntary and anonymous. In addition, because of a lack of information about family relationships and stability in the home, we cannot conclude that living with parents is more stable for LGBTQ youth than living in foster care. RESULTS: More youth living in foster care (30.4%) and unstable housing (25.3%) self-identified as LGBTQ than youth in a nationally representative sample (11.2%). Today, among LGBTQ individuals and couples under 50, 48% of women and 17% of men are currently parenting a child under the age of 18- many of these families are formed through adoption from foster care ( source ). Studies show that banning gay and lesbian foster care would cost the country $87 to $130 million in lost child care, with individual states losing as much as $27 million. This means that, if you are eligible for Medicaid til 26 in Tennessee, you will need to complete a new application before you are able to receive health care coverage. Using a statewide youth sample, we document overrepresentation of LGBTQ youth in unstable housing and foster care and disproportionate risks related to schooling, substance use, and mental health. Validate the youth for sharing their story. POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST: The authors have indicated they have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose. Panel and Q&A on what it takes to care for LGBTQ homeless youth. 8 Human Rights Campaign: 2019 Black and African American LGBTQ Youth Report. 4 The permanency and placement options have historically been limited for many LGBTQ youth, often leading to an over reliance on congregate settings and aging out of foster are. Students from schools that administered the question about living situation and sexual orientation and/or gender identity were included in the analytic sample. For the focal analyses, we compared youth who only reported being heterosexual (n = 430 672) to youth who reported being gay or lesbian or bisexual, transgender, or not sure (LGBTQ) or any other composition of answers (n = 62 431). LGBTQ youths probably end up in the foster care system or unstable housing for several reasons, including family rejection or running away because they feel unsafe, Russell says. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: The authors have indicated they have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose. 9 … Moreover, we cannot ascertain whether disparities are even more severe in states without protections from harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Enter multiple addresses on separate lines or separate them with commas. Respondents were asked about their ethnic and racial background; over half (52.0%) of respondents identified as Hispanic. Advocate for kin and families of LGBTQ youth to get support accepting their child. A, Interaction foster care × LGBTQ. This points to a need for protections for LGBTQ … B, Interaction unstable housing × LGBTQ for victimization. Foster care adoption is a wonderful way to bring a child into your life, not to mention a way to provide a home and support system to a child who desperately needs it.LGBT foster care adoption is not much different than any other foster care adoption: You’ll have to meet certain requirements and be fully prepared for the challenges of the process. 22, § 88022. Youth in unstable housing (P < .001) and foster care (P < .001) also reported poorer school functioning, more substance use, and poorer mental health compared with youth in stable housing (Table 2). Compared with heterosexual youth in foster care and LGBTQ youth in stable housing, LGBTQ youth in foster care reported more fights in school (P < .001) and more victimization (P = .009). Los Angeles County LGBTQ Youth Preparedness, The Williams Institute, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, Diarrheal Deaths After the Introduction of Rotavirus Vaccination in 4 Countries, Identification of Prenatal Opioid Exposure Within Health Administrative Databases, Three-Year Outcomes After Brief Treatment of Substance Use and Mood Symptoms, Follow American Academy of Pediatrics on Instagram, Visit American Academy of Pediatrics on Facebook, Follow American Academy of Pediatrics on Twitter, Follow American Academy of Pediatrics on Youtube, https://mffh.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/LGBTHealthEquityReport.pdf, http://www.racismreview.com/downloads/HomelessYouth.pdf, http://hrc-assets.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com//files/assets/resources/HRC-YouthFosterCare-IssueBrief-FINAL.pdf, www.hunter.cuny.edu/socwork/nrcfcpp/info_services/download/LGBTQ Youth Permanency_JesseYarbrough.pdf, http://www.thetaskforce.org/lgbt-youth-an-epidemic-of-homelessness/, http://chks.wested.org/wp-content/uploads/14thBiennialReport.pdf, http://surveydata.wested.org/resources/chks_guidebook_2_coremodules.pdf, www.nclrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/LGBTQ_Youth_California_Foster_System.pdf. • State law requires LGBTQ-inclusive cultural competency training for foster agencies and staff. Students were also asked, “What is your race?” with the following answer options: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, white, or multiracial (2 or more races). While we cannot know for sure how many youth in care identify as LGBTQ, recent national studies estimate that LGBTQ youth comprise 22.8 percent of children in foster care. To understand the landscape, there are several factors to consider. In sum, the proportion of LGBTQ youth in foster care and unstable housing is 2.3 to 2.7 times larger than would be expected from estimates of LGBTQ youth in nationally representative adolescent samples. Shares personal stories from youth in foster care related to LGBTQ issues in an effort to inspire and inform other youth in care, as well as offer staff and policymakers insights into youth concerns. Statistics show that, at a minimum, 5 to 10 percent of children and youth in care are LGBTQ. Download PDF For LGBTQ African American students in foster care, there are significant interactions for school absenteeism (B = 0.66, P = .038), fighting at school (B = 0.31, P = .017), victimization (B = 0.35, P = .028), substance use (B = 0.77, P = .001), and having been drunk or sick from alcohol (B = 1.13, P = .002). These youth are also less likely than their peers to have adult mentors, according to the data. Last, as sensitivity analyses, we examined whether findings were similar across youth who identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB); transgender; or unsure, compared with youth who did not identify as such. They were also more likely to have been depressed (not different from LGBTQ youth in stable housing) or suicidal in the past year, to have been drunk or sick from alcohol (P < .001), and they reported higher levels of substance use (P < .001). Sexual and gender minority disproportionality and disparities in child welfare: a population-based study. According to a 2012 study from UCLA Law, 40 percent of the nation's homeless children identify as LGBT. This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions. An Introduction to LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care, from the Vermont Juvenile Court Improvement Program (CIP).. Best Practices for Respectful, Affirming, and Culturally Competent Care BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth are suggested to be overrepresented in unstable housing and foster care. Compared with heterosexual youth in unstable housing and LGBTQ youth in stable housing, LGBTQ youth in unstable housing reported lower grades (P = .020), higher rates of absenteeism (P < .001), school safety (P = .001), lower school climate (P = .049), more fights in school (P < .001), and more victimization (P < .001). Putting the pieces together for queer youth: a model of integrated assessment of need and program planning. Perceived school safety was assessed with 2 items. Same sex couples may be more likely to adopt across racial lines (Farr & Patterson, 2009). They also include stressors unique to LGBTQ youth, including homophobia or transphobia. Children, families, and foster care: analysis and recommendations. You will be redirected to aap.org to login or to create your account. "What we know about LGBTQ youth in foster care is that they experience more placement instability when they're in care," said Dr. For example, “During the past 12 months, how many times on school property have you been pushed, shoved, slapped, hit, or kicked by someone who wasn’t just kidding around?” (1 = 0 times, 4 = 4 or more times). An example item is “I am happy to be at this school” (1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree). While we cannot know for sure how many youth in care identify as LGBTQ, recent national studies estimate that LGBTQ youth comprise 22.8 percent of children in foster care. While Washington state has legal protections from discrimination for LGBTQ youth in foster care, most states do not. An estimated 14,100 foster children are living with lesbian or gay parents. There are several important limitations to note. More than a third of same-sex couples raising children are racial or ethnic minorities Most, if not all, youth in foster care have been affected by trauma and loss; they require acceptance and understanding. 4 Gay and lesbian parents are raising four percent of all adopted children in the United States. Participants were asked about their living situation: “What best describes where you live? A few studies have examined lesbian women’s and gay men’s experiences of fostering and/or adopting via foster care. In the current study, we assess whether LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in unstable housing and foster care and examine disparities in school functioning, substance use, and mental health for LGBTQ youth versus heterosexual youth in unstable housing and foster care. LGBTQ youth of color and transgender teenagers experience unique challenges and elevated stress -- only 11 percent of youth of color surveyed believe their racial or ethnic group is regarded positively in the U.S., and over 50 percent of trans and gender expansive youth said they can never use school restrooms that align with their gender identity; Foster care has also become a gateway into homelessness. Abby Lee Hood - July 13, 2020. Students were asked whether they were of “Hispanic or of Latino origin.” With answer options yes or no. For the current analyses, comparisons were made between African American (1) and non-Hispanic white (0) students and American Indian (1) and non-Hispanic white students (0). 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