According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Administration for Children & Families, there are over 150,000 youth aged 12-20 in the foster care system in need of immediate foster placement. This is the age range when many youth first identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Too often, these adolescents are isolated or rejected by their families of origin.Click above or here for the survey.
The Child Welfare League of America reports that LGBT youth are “disproportionately represented” in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Studies show that approximately 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT and that well over half of these youth stay on the street because they feel “safer there than living in group or foster homes.” Social workers across the country have long struggled to find foster and adoptive families that can provide LGBT adolescents with the support they need during the transition to young adulthood.
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Rich Valenza, Founder & President of RaiseAChild.US explains the four phase plan designed to find viable solutions for LGBT youth. “We have created a survey, located at our website, http://www.RaiseAChild.US and invite the general public across the nation to participate, to help us to measure attitudes and concerns about fostering and adoption. After analyzing the data, we will build an infrastructure of support to address those concerns. Then, we go back to the public with a campaign to educate, advocate and recruit safe and loving homes for these children.”
Finding Foster and Adoptive Families for LGBT Youth
A new program looking to develop permanency solutions for LGBT youth in foster care: