LGBTQ support for youth & parents
Foster Children's Rights Coaliton's LGBTQ committee’s mission is to provide loving and affirming support, services and safety to all LBGTQ foster children.
We want to make foster care a safe, stable and nurturing environment where LGBTQ foster children can embrace who they are with self-love, pride and acceptance.
Our Vision for a Better Foster Care
The LGBTQ Committee of Foster Children's Rights Coalition is for all youth in foster care who identify as LGBTQ and all of their care providers to have the support they need.
Youth who identify as LGBTQ in foster care often do not feel safe. Youth in foster care know they can be moved to a new placement at any moment, which makes coming out a dangerous option, even in a safe placement.
This is just one example of the many ways foster care is more difficult and more dangerous for youth who identify as LGBTQ.
Our trainings teach foster parents, social workers, and other care providers how to create a safe space for youth in foster care who identify as LGBTQ.
Educate about rights in school
Resources will be provided to those including each school district with a list of resources. Foster children often attend multiple schools; there is a need for LGBTQ children to have resources available to their care providers who may not have any experience with the issues that LBGTQ kids face in the public school system. We will provide a list of laws protecting LGBTQ kids that some schools may not be aware of. Schools could receive a list of easy to follow guidelines. We will also provide easy to follow guidelines for teachers to ensure LBGTQ kids experience the safely they deserve in schools. For example the proper use of pronoun use or what the laws are concerning restroom use, bullying, sports and or usage of preferred names.
As a child in foster care, these kids might not have a caregiver who is educated on these matters so if the school has a handy guideline it could relieve some of the stress LBGTQ kids face starting over in a new school. We would also provide all caregivers with some simple responses that they could have for any parents of other students who might approach them regarding LGBTQ kids. Not every caregiver is aware that they are in no way obligated to respond to negative reactions from fellow students or their parents to a LBGTQ student who is placed in their school. These would be responses that while being firm, are not offensive or off putting and could be used as an educational tool for the parents of children that LBGT kids come into contact with as well as family members of their caregivers. Sometimes people don’t know what to say to their “Aunt Betty” when she asks why their new son dresses like a girl.
Make safe provider lists accessible
It can be difficult to find care providers for LBGTQ kids who are friendly to their needs. We would also provide Foster parents and group homes with a list of doctors, therapists, psychiatrists, dentists, respite providers and support groups that are LGBTQ friendly.
Teach foster care providers what safe and affirming means
We will provide LGBTQ cultural competency training to foster parents, social workers, and others who work with children and youth in foster care.
Ensure every LGBTQ youth in foster care has a safe, affirming adult in their life
There are many functions within the LBGTQ community that we could attend to bring awareness of agencies who are LBGTQ friendly and who would license them for foster care. We feel that the benefit of this is two-fold. One, the kids will get to spend time with someone who understands where they are and can show them where they can go, and two, it can be difficult to find all of the events within the community that a teen could participate in that would help build their self-esteem and sense of belonging. People who are more active within the LBGTQ community are more likely to be aware of these events.
There is a great need for additional foster parents and foster mentors to increase support and additional safe places for LGBTQ foster kids. Therefore, we will be participating in many recruiting opportunities for LGBTQ foster parents and mentors.