Three Ways to Support LGBTQ Foster Youth

30% of youth in foster care identify as LGBTQ, a rate nearly three times higher than those not in the foster care system. There are five times more transgender youth in foster care than in the general population.  Here are three things foster families can do to support LGBTQ youth:

  1. Remember you are not alone: work with your social worker to identify resources for LGBTQ youth, including support groups, mental health services, education, medical care, etc. Your social worker can also help you advocate for your youth when they are mistreated due to their LGBTQ identity.
  2. Participate in LGBTQ community: Bring or allow your youth to attend LGBTQ events, join advocacy organizations and promote connection with an LGBTQ adult role model.
  3. Talk to your child or foster youth about their LGBTQ identity continually. Be curious; don’t assume. Some questions you can ask include:
    • How do you want me to refer to you in front of others?
    • How can I support you?
    • Who else are you out to?
    • Who else would you like to be out to?
    • How has your experience been so far?

June 28, 2024