Session: LGBTQ Children and Youth with Child Welfare System Involvement (Society for Social Work and Research 22nd Annual Conference - Achieving Equal Opportunity, Equity, and Justice)

33 LGBTQ Children and Youth with Child Welfare System Involvement

Thursday, January 11, 2018: 3:15 PM-4:45 PM
Marquis BR Salon 17 (ML 2) (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Symposium Organizer:
Amy Salazar, MSW, PhD, Washington State University
Children and youth who identify as LGBTQ are disproportionately represented in the child welfare system. Recently, as societal views of LGBTQ-identifying individuals have begun shifting, so has the willingness of many child welfare systems across the country to become more sensitive and responsive to the unique needs and challenges faced by LGBTQ children and youth, their biological families, and the foster caregivers who may care for them while they are in the foster care system. These issues span a wide range and involve identification of LGBTQ children and youth in the system, provision of LGBTQ-affirming family support services, and recruitment and training of LGBTQ-supportive foster care placements, among others. This symposium reviews findings from three research studies that explore strategies that child welfare systems may utilize to better support LGBTQ youth and families with child welfare system involvement.

Paper 1 focuses on prevention of LGBTQ youth entry into the foster care system. It uses a case study to illustrate the utilization of the Family Acceptance Project's (Ryan et al, 2010) evidence-informed family support strategies within a family group decision making context to prevent home removal of diverse SOGIE youth in families with child protective services (CPS) involvement. Paper 2 focuses on data collection and sharing issues related to the identification of LGBTQ youth in care. It examines barriers and promotive factors related to implementing safe and confidential identification, assessment, and recording of information about youth with diverse sexual orientation and gender identity expression (SOGIE) in the child welfare system. Finally, Paper 3 focuses on youth-caregiver relationship building strategies. It reviews findings from focus groups with LGBTQ2S youth with foster care experience, foster caregivers, and child welfare workers regarding recommended strategies for building better relationships between LGBTQ2S youth and their foster caregivers. These studies address gaps in practice knowledge regarding how child welfare systems may go about identifying LGBTQ youth in care, as well better serving children, youth, and families both at risk of and experiencing foster care placement, in a way that affirms LGBTQ identities.

* noted as presenting author
Integrating the Family Acceptance Project's Family Support Model into Family Group Decision-Making to Increase Family Support for LGBTQ Children & Youth to Prevent Placement in Foster Care
Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW, San Francisco State University; Monica Sampson, LMSW, Ruth Ellis Center; Jessie Fullenkamp, LMSW, Ruth Ellis Center; Jerry Peterson, MA, Ruth Ellis Center
Developing and Implementing Agency Policy for the Safe and Confidential Identification of LGBTQ Youth: Perspectives from Child Welfare Workers and LGBTQ Youth
Dana Prince, PhD, Case Western Reserve University; Karen Anderson, MSW, Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services; Kathleen Sullivan, BA, Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services
Building Stronger Relationships between Caregivers and LGBTQ2S Youth in Foster Care
Amy Salazar, MSW, PhD, Washington State University; Kevin Haggerty, MSW, PhD, University of Washington; Susan Barkan, PhD, University of Washington
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