Every youth in foster care deserves equal and equitable care, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Why it matters
LGBTQ2S+ youth often encounter discriminatory and inequitable treatment in the foster care system simply due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Improved policies and practices are not just important, but essential, and are most effective when led by LGBTQ2S+ LEx Leaders who have firsthand experience within the system. These targeted improvements serve to provide queer identifying youth with the specific support and protection they rightfully deserve.
Over 30% of youth in foster care identify as LGBTQ2S+, compared to 10% of the general population (source)
LGBTQ2S+ youth are twice as likely to report discrimination, and even more likely if they are Black or Brown (source).
In a 2019 FosterClub poll of LGBTQ2S+ youth, only 36% of youth agreed that they had an adult role model who affirmed their LGBTQ2S+ identity.
In the same poll, 75% of youth reported hearing negative messaging about their identities.
“I noticed that a lot of caregivers and staff don’t have a lot of training around handling LGBTQ2S+ youth. I feel like their personal opinions get involved and make it more complicated…”
— Keona, age 22, spent time in the Arizona foster care system
How we're working on this issue
“Stopping youth from the ability to be in a loving family kind of defeats the purpose of why we have a foster care system.”
— Daysha, age 24, spent time in the North Carolina foster care system