LGBTQ In-service Materials


What Happens to Some L.G.B.T.Q. Teens When Their Parents Reject Them?

New York Times article by Amanda Rosa

Some advocacy groups have long believed that gay, bisexual and transgender teenagers are overrepresented in the city’s foster care system, and that many struggle to find support in it and at home. A new survey has confirmed that impression: It found that more than a third of New York City’s young people in foster care identify as L.G.B.T.Q.

The survey, published by the Administration for Children’s Services, the city’s child welfare agency, revealed disparities between the L.G.B.T.Q. youths and their peers in foster care. The young people who identify as L.G.B.T.Q. are placed more often in group homes or residential care, instead of family-based homes. They also are more likely to report experiencing homelessness, negative interactions with the police, and feelings of depression and hopelessness.


National CASA/GAL Association Webinar: Advocating for LGBTQ Youth

Webinar from the National CASA/GAL Association network

  • Link for webinar (registration required - fill in your contact info and choose "I am a CASA/GAL Volunteer Advocate")

  • Link to webinar slides


National CASA/GAL Association Webinar: LGBTQ Volunteer Engagement

Webinar from the National CASA/GAL Association network

  • Link for webinar (registration required - fill in your contact info and choose "I am a CASA/GAL Volunteer Advocate")

  • Link to webinar slides


National CASA/GAL Association Webinar: Setting the Foundation for LGBT Inclusion


National CASA/GAL Association - Resources Supporting LGBT+ Youth

The National CASA/GAL Association launched a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Learning Center.

From National CASA: "Recent events have caused us to reflect, dialogue and identify more proactive ways to address racism, injustices, diversity, equity, engagement and inclusion. To assist in these efforts, we encourage you to take advantage of the Learning Center (via link above). While this is not a comprehensive list, we have thoughtfully vetted these resources. Thank you for your willingness to expand your knowledge, particularly about topics that may affect the children we serve. These resources will be updated periodically."


School Climate - Best Practices for Serving LGBTQ Students: A Teaching Tolerance Guide, from the Southern Poverty Law Center

To feel safe and to feel seen. To feel valued and capable of growth. These are simple concepts—basic pillars of student achievement and the results of good pedagogy. For many queer students, these rights remain out of reach.

"With this guide, we hope to help school leaders ensure that all students feel safe, seen and capable of success; to ensure that the curriculum is as complete and representative as possible; to ensure that the school climate fosters open and respectful dialogue among all students and staff; and to prepare youth to engage and thrive within our diverse democracy."

Includes a glossary of LGBTQ terms, a review of the constitutional rights of LGBTQ students, and ideas for responding to pushback from the community, as well as helping LGBTQ students and nontraditional families feel included in school communities.


All Children – All Families (ACAF) Website

This website has resources that can help CASA/GAL programs learn how to support LGBT youth and work toward better outcomes for this population. The ACAF initiative enhances LGBT cultural competence among child welfare and child service professionals. It also educates LGBT people about opportunities to become foster or adoptive parents for waiting children. 

Resources include:

  • 20+ webinar offerings for professionals in all roles and levels of knowledge and comfort serving LGBTQ communities.

  • Beginner’s Guide Tip Sheets - Every single child welfare professional -- from frontline workers to administrators and executives -- has a role to play and this Beginner’s Guide to LGBTQ Inclusion is designed to give you ideas of where to start.

  • Caring for LGBTQ Children & Youth: A Guide for Child Welfare Providers - This reference guide includes the must-know information (tips, terminology and FAQs) for providers caring LGBTQ youth in out-of-home care.


CWLA Presents Experts, Ideas and Data Gaps on LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care

The Child Welfare League of America recently released a special issue of its Child Welfare Journal that is focused on young people in foster care who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity (LGBTQ).

Composed of a dozen academic articles, the publication underscores the stark challenges that these young people face and the pressing need for more data as well as best practices aimed at keeping these youth emotionally and physically safe while ensuring their long-term well-being.

July 2018

When Children Say They’re Trans

Article in the July/August 2018 issue of The Atlantic

The number of self-identifying trans people in the United States is on the rise. In June 2016, the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimated that 1.4 million adults in the U.S. identify as transgender, a near-doubling of an estimate from about a decade earlier. As of 2017, according to the institute, about 150,000 teenagers ages 13 to 17 identified as trans. The number of young people seeking clinical services appears to be growing as well. A major clinic in the United Kingdom saw a more than 300 percent increase in new referrals over the past three years. In the U.S., where youth gender clinics are somewhat newer—40 or so are scattered across the country—solid numbers are harder to come by. Anecdotally, though, clinicians are reporting large upticks in new referrals, and waiting lists can stretch to five months or longer.

The current era of gender-identity awareness has undoubtedly made life easier for many young people who feel constricted by the sometimes-oppressive nature of gender expectations. A rich new language has taken root, granting kids who might have felt alone or excluded the words they need to describe their experiences. And the advent of the internet has allowed teenagers, even ones in parts of the country where acceptance of gender nonconformity continues to come far too slowly, to find others like them.

But when it comes to the question of physical interventions, this era has also brought fraught new challenges to many parents. Where is the line between not “feeling like” a girl because society makes it difficult to be a girl and needing hormones to alleviate dysphoria that otherwise won’t go away? How can parents tell? How can they help their children gain access to the support and medical help they might need, while also keeping in mind that adolescence is, by definition, a time of fevered identity exploration?


From the Center for Children's Advocacy: Supporting LGBTQ Youth: Medical, Mental Health, Housing, Education and Legal Issues

Click on the link above for the recording from a Webinar that was offered on June 11, 2018

Speaker panel included: Yale Gender Clinic, True Colors, Commission on Human Rights, GLSEN, Center for Children's Advocacy 



Handouts from CAC's 4/13/18 in-service with Robin McHaelen, Executive Director at True Colors Inc.

Handouts from CAC's 4/13/18 in-service with Robin McHaelen, Executive Director at True Colors Inc., who is a state and national leader in the field of LGBT issues.


True Colors is a non-profit organization that works to ensure that the needs of sexual and gender minority youth are both recognized and competently met.  The organization trains more than 6,000 people annually, organizes the largest LGBT youth conference in the country, and manages the state's only LGBT mentoring program.  


Issue Brief from the Tow Youth Justice Institute: Understanding the Needs of Transgender and Gender Diverse/Non-Binary Youth

In 2012, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) conducted a survey of 10,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth between the ages of 13 and 17. In the demographic section of the survey, just under 10 % of the youth surveyed identified as transgender or non-binary (TNB). HRC conducted a follow-up survey in 2017 with more than 12,000 LGBTQ youth. Just five years later, 34% of the youth identified as transgender or gender diverse. That’s a 250% increase in 5 years. Conservatively, TNB youth represent about 2.5% of the population but account for significantly higher percentages of the homeless, child welfare and juvenile justice populations. This includes the juvenile justice system and is expanded on later in this brief. If they haven’t yet, agencies, organizations, schools and other youth serving programs will soon need to figure out how to address the unique needs of this growing population of children and youth.


Links Regarding Transgender Youth 

Two links regarding transgender youth (provided by True Colors, a non-profit organization in CT that works with other social service agencies, schools, organizations, and within communities to ensure that the needs of sexual and gender minority youth are both recognized and competently met).