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“Life Molded Me”

Advancing Pretrial Policy & Research

Keywords: Lived Experience; Secure Facilities

This brief article is a profile of Tye Perez, a non-binary person of color whose lived experience includes incarceration in jail before conviction and time in prison. Perez grew up in different states and cultures, experiencing urban and rural communities, and while they received support and love from many family members, they also faced societal exclusion and discrimination. All of these experiences now inform their work as an advocate for gender justice and an advisor to criminal legal system practitioners on respectful and humane treatment of justice-involved LGBTQ+ people. [Summary adapted from resource.]

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.

2023 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ Young People

The Trevor Project

Keywords: Mental Health; Research

The Trevor Project’s 2023 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ Young People amplifies the experiences of more than 28,000 LGBTQ young people ages 13 to 24 across the United States. This survey gives a voice to LGBTQ young people — at a time when their existence is unfairly at the center of national political debates and state legislatures have introduced and implemented a record number of anti-LGBTQ policies. Importantly, this research also points to ways we can all support the LGBTQ young people in our lives by highlighting protective factors like creating affirming spaces and respecting pronouns, as well as the topics about which LGBTQ young people wish those in their lives knew more. [Summary adapted from resource.]

A Guide for Understanding, Supporting, and Affirming LGBTQI2-S Children, Youth, and Families

American Institutes for Research

Keywords: Best Practices; Child Welfare; Juvenile Justice

This guide provides information for service providers, educators, allies, and community members who seek to support the health and well-being of children and youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, or two-spirit (LGBTQI2-S) and their families. This guide can support efforts to promote full and affirming inclusion of LGBTQI2-S youth and families in communities and provider settings (e.g., child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, schools). The guide includes a section for organizations to add their endorsement electronically. Both the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) have endorsed the guide. [Resource adapted from summary.]

A Place of Respect: A Guide for Group Care Facilities Serving Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Youth.

National Center for Lesbian Rights

Keywords: Best Practices; Child Welfare; Gender Non-Conforming Youth; Out Of Home Care; Policy; Secure Facilities; Transgender Youth

This guide offers group care facilities information and tools to provide transgender and gender non-conforming young people with appropriate and informed care. It also describes laws requiring facilities to protect these youth from harassment and abuse, to provide them with appropriate medical care, and to treat them fairly. Finally, it provides administrators with a model policy and comprehensive practice guidelines to help keep transgender and gender non-conforming youth safe, prevent programmatic disruptions, and promote respectful and supportive environments for all youth. [Summary adapted from resource.]

A Quick Guide for LGBTI Policy Development for Youth Confinement Facilities.

National Institute of Corrections

Keywords: Policy; Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA); Secure Facilities; Juvenile Justice

This Quick Guide will help agencies and facilities develop a comprehensive response to working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) youth. It provides an overview of the important issues that agencies should consider when working to house and treat LGBTI youth in a way that is safe and consistent with an agency’s mission, values, and security guidelines. [Summary adapted from resource.]

Access to Juvenile Justice Irrespective of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE)

National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ); Gault Center (formerly National Juvenile Defender Center); State Justice Institute

Keywords: Best Practices; Courts; Judges; Juvenile Justice; Child Welfare

NCJFCJ’s benchcard for judges on Access to Juvenile Justice Irrespective of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression provides judges with recommendations for working with LGBTQ2S+ youth at every stage of a juvenile justice case. The suggestions in this document will help improve courtroom culture, minimize the impact of bias and stigma, and ensure LGBTQ2S+ youth are treated with dignity and respect in the juvenile justice system.