Methods: A secondary data analysis was conducted using the Jim Casey Opportunity Passport Data System data set. These analyses were based on a subset of 595 youth who self-identified as LGBTQ+ at their most recent data collection point. Descriptive and chi-square tests for independence were executed to compare outcomes for LGBTQ+ youth of color relative to white LGBTQ+ youth. Effect sizes are reported as Cramer’s V.
Results: The majority of LGBTQ+ youth of color (62.02%) reported couch surfing in the last 6 months and were significantly more likely than White LGBTQ+ youth to report they had engaged in couch surfing during this time (c2 = 5.22, p = .02, V = .10). While 26.59% of LGBTQ+ youth of color reported fair or poor physical health, and 45.56% reported fair or poor mental health, white youth were significantly more likely than LGBGT+ youth of color to report negative physical (c 2 = 19.63, p = 0.01, V = .18) or mental health outcomes. However, the effect sizes for these differences were small.
Conclusions and implications: Results indicate that a large portion of LGBTQ+ youth of color report negative housing and health related outcomes. Contrary to what was expected, there were not large race/ethnicity-based disparities in housing stability, health and wellbeing outcomes among this sample. However, additional, nationally representative data on the outcomes of former foster youth is still needed. Nationally representative child welfare datasets (like ACFARS) should consistently collect SOGIE information while youth are in care to support case and permanency planning. In addition, outcomes of former foster youth should be tracked more consistently after they exit care, to support further research in this area. Implication for practice and suggestions for policy improvements to support research related to LGBTQ+ youth of color will be offered.