Skip to main content
20 Years of Advocating for LGBTQ Youth in Out-of-Home Care

American Bar Association; Lambda Legal

M. Currey Cook; Cathren Cohen

Keywords: Child Welfare; Civil Rights; Legal Advocacy; Out of Home Care; System Reform

Despite the prevalence and experiences of LGBTQ youth in out-of-home care, the specific needs of LGBTQ youth have not been adequately addressed. As a result, systems themselves have been complicit in causing additional trauma and poor outcomes. Thankfully, the last 20 years have shown a slow but steady increasing recognition by professionals that their work necessarily involves working with LGBTQ youth and requires improvements in policy and practice. Some states have enacted specific laws protecting LGBTQ youth from discrimination and mandating supportive treatment. However, other states have taken harmful steps backwards, enacting “religious refusal” laws that permit child welfare providers to discriminate against LGBTQ youth based on their religious or moral beliefs. This article highlights the great strides that have been made to protect LGBTQ young people over the past few decades and points out areas where additional reform is necessary to protect LGBTQ young people and the adults they grow up to be.

File : pdf with 0.20 MB in size

20 Years of Advocating for LGBTQ Youth in Out-of-Home Care