National LGBTQ Pride Month and Foster Youth
Posted on June 26th, 2020
As National LGBTQ Pride Month comes to a close, Child Advocates would like to honor and celebrate the many members of the LGBTQ community in the child welfare system and those who work to advocate for their rights on a daily basis.
According to the Children’s Rights Organization and a California study published in 2019, a little over 30% of older youth in the foster care system identify as LGBTQ. This number is significantly higher than the 11% of children who identified as LGBTQ outside of the foster care system.
This large percentage of children face a unique set of challenges in addition to the adversity they experience as children in the foster care system. Experiencing higher rates of harassment, neglect, and abuse, LGBTQ children struggle to find safe and supportive foster homes and caregivers.
Often times, these children who find themselves in unsupportive homes flee the maltreatment which consequently results in their living on the street or seeking refuge in shelters. The Williams Institute found that children who identify as LGBTQ represent 40% of the homeless youth population.
The struggles faced by the LGBTQ youth population are similarly felt by adults in the LGBTQ community. A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling sided in favor of a former staffed CASA who was allegedly terminated due to sexual orientation. The Court reiterated the importance of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in protection of gay and transgender rights.
While this progressive decision made by the U.S. Supreme Court is a step in the right direction, there is much work left to be done in regards to equality.
Child Advocates celebrates all diverse youth in the child welfare system and welcomes members of the LGBTQ community as both volunteers and foster parents. We urge those who are willing to open their hearts and homes to foster youth in the LGBTQ community. There are many children waiting to find that loving and supportive home where they may flourish and truly enjoy what it means to be a child.
If you or someone you know feels that you have room in your heart to open up your home to a foster child, go to https://www.indianafostercare.org/s/ and begin the foster parent certification process today!