LGBTQ+

Helping systems transform how they serve and support LGBTQ+ children and families


What We Work For

We believe LGBTQ+ youth—and all people—deserve to be supported and affirmed in their identity and to have meaningful access to resources and supports that will allow them to thrive.

LGBTQ+ children, youth, and families too often experience trauma due bias, and discrimination, including within their family, in their communities, and from public systems designed to serve their needs.

How We Do It

We work in partnership with public systems to help them develop new and better practices and policies that transform how they interact with and support LGBTQ+ children, youth, and families.

We honor the full identities of children, youth, and families—and the fluid nature of the lived experience—in all the work that we do. We constantly center the race, socioeconomic status, ability, and language of the LGBTQ+ children, youth, and families with whom we are working.

We recognize that we cannot adequately support LGBTQ+ youth unless we directly address how systems are oppressive and how racism, homophobia, and transphobia are perpetuated. We also recognize that many systems are operating in a larger environment that attacks the well-being of LGBTQ+ children, youth, and families—an environment focused on debates about bathrooms, conversion therapy, or the national movement to allow for federal and state tax dollars to fund child welfare agencies that will not serve LGBTQ+ people on the basis of individual religious beliefs.

We work to dismantle systemic oppression. We support systems in respecting the full, diverse, and unique experiences of LGBTQ+ people.

Our work will be successful when all children can live their personal truth and celebrate their sexual and personal identity without fear of repercussions, harassment, or denigration either from society or their families and communities.

Our primary focus is to ensure that the full identity of children, youth, and families is at the core of our work.

We value all aspects of who people are including their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, ability, and language. This is at the core of the work we do with and for LGBTQ+ children, youth, and families in order to promote their healthy sexual and identity development—learning to love and celebrate all the aspects of who they are.

We do this by:

Influencing federal and state policies that support the specific needs and best practices of LGBTQ+ children, youth, and families.

Providing consultation to sites and partners that attend to the intersecting identities of youth.

Creating and disseminating resources and providing technical assistance that supports the needs of and centers the intersecting identities of youth.

Two child welfare jurisdictions (California and Allegheny County, PA) are collecting or are poised to begin collecting data on the LGBTQ+ children, youth, and families who participate in their systems. Both jurisdictions have made significant changes to their infrastructure to support the collection of data and better affirm LGBTQ+ children, youth, and families.

A network of approximately 100 advocates, child welfare administrators and managers, researchers, and providers receive regular and up-to-date information about anti-racist intersectional best practices and protocols through our getREAL project and#SeeChange.

States and other jurisdictions are using information from our getREAL network to develop new policies that support LGBTQ+ and gender expansive youth in out-of-home care.