Workshop Sessions III, Session B3: Best Practices for Serving Youth who are LGBTQ and Gender Diverse in Residential Services
JuRon McMillan, MBA, Project Manager, Building Bridges Initiative (GA)
Julie Collins, MSW, LCSW, Vice President, Practice Excellence, Child Welfare League of America (DC);
Caitlin Ryan. PhD, ACSW, Director, Family Acceptance Project and Adjunct Distinguished Professor, San Francisco State University (CA)
Mica Gonzalez, Central Regional Youth Partner, YOUTH POWER! (NY)
A range of policy and practice guidelines developed over the past 10 years have increased the quality of services for youth receiving residential interventions who are LGTBQ. However, the limited focus on improving outcomes remains a cause for concern. It is critical that agencies adopt and implement best practices to ensure safe and affirmative environments and services for young people based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression (SOGIE). Also, given the growing understanding of the critical role of families in the lives of their children who are LGBTQ, agencies must also adopt and implement family-based services to promote permanency for these youths. CWLA has been in the forefront of creating policy and best practice guidelines and partnering with other national leaders to publish information, including emerging research, on serving this population. The Family Acceptance Project (FAP) at San Francisco State University was founded 15 years ago as the first research, intervention, training, and policy initiative to help ethnically and religiously diverse families to support their children who are LGBTQ to prevent risk and promote well-being and permanency. FAP has developed effective research-based best practice strategies to help diverse families learn to support their children who are LGBTQ in the context of their cultures and faith traditions, even when they believe that being gay or transgender is wrong. FAP is implementing this family support model in a range of systems, including with youth in out-of-home care. A youth will share her views on important issues for providers to address. Attendees will learn about best practice strategies and resources to provide quality care for youth who are LGBTQ and to create safe and affirming environments.